George Frederick Graham
58506 12th Cheshire Regiment
Died of Wounds 30th September 1918
in Salonika, aged 22
Lived at 5 Whittlefield Street
Buried at Karasoule Military Cemetery Greece
Burnley Express 19th
October 1918 - 19th
DAYS WOUNDED IN NO MANS LAND (Burnley
and Mrs. Graham, of 5 Whittlefield-st., Burnley, have received messages
informing them of the death from wounds at Salonika, of their son, Pte.
Geo. Frederick Graham, 58506, of the Cheshire Regt., on Sept. 29. Deceased,
who was only 22 years of age, enlisted three and a half years ago, and
after being wounded in France was sent out, two and a half years ago,
to Salonika. He was formerly employed at Lord’s Standish-st., painters
and decorators, and attended Holy Trinity Church and Sandygate School.
His brother, Pte. Wilfred Graham, of the R.A.M.C., who was formerly a
ringer at Holy Trinity Church, is now at Blackpool recovering from wounds.
He wears the red chevron, four blue stripes, and the Mons ribbon.
With regard to the deceased soldier, Pte. Geo. F. Graham, a letter was
first received from a chaplain stating:- “He was wounded in the
leg at the battle of Dorian, and was left in No Man’s Land for three
days, and then captured by the Bulgars. He suffered greatly from pain
and thirst. He was recaptured by our troops and brought to Salonika.”
A further letter from the chaplain conveys the sad news that the lad has
died. The letter states:- “Everything possible was done for him,
and he seemed to be making excellent progress, but septic poisoning set
in, and nothing more could be done. Your son did not, I think, suffer
greatly, at least not since the amputation.” The letter adds that
before he died one of his last remarks was an affectionate remembrance
of those at home, and he died in a truly Christian manner.
On Thursday morning, Mrs. Graham was proud to receive a letter from Capt.
C.B. Gorton, which stated: “ Dear Madame,- It is with the greatest
sorrow that I write to you to give you confirmation of the news, which
has probably reached you already, of your son’s death from wounds
received in action. It is presumptuous for me to try, but I think if I
were to let you know some of the circumstances I might succeed in lessening
your sorrow by increasing your pride at your son’s courage and grit.
You must know that this battalion, about a fortnight ago, delivered an
attack on the Bulgar positions here, which were of great strength –
probably none stronger in Europe. Although the battalion attacked with
the greatest determination it did not succeed, and your son was one of
the many who were afterwards reported missing. Some days afterwards the
Bulgars were driven back, and your son was discovered alive in a village,
having been left behind by the enemy. He was then evacuated to one our
hospitals. Unfortunately, however, he must have been exposed too long,
and we received a note two nights ago that he had died in hospital. Here
I should like to say that I have always regarded Graham as one of my cheeriest
and keenest (although smallest) soldiers, always working with a will,
and could generally be seen carrying his Lewis gun with great grit in
the hottest sun. During the attack he behaved with the greatest gallantry.
Although most of his N.C.O.’s, and practically all the officers
had become casualties, he went to the front himself and called upon the
company to move forward, and led the rush into the teeth of the machine
gun fire till he disappeared. For this he was recommended, and if he had
lived would undoubtedly, have received the very high honour of the D.C.M.”