|SIR GERALD GRAHAM, V.C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G.
Gerald Graham was born at Acton, Middlesex on the 27th of June,
1831, the only son of Dr. R. H. Graham of Eden Brows, Cumberland.
After studying at Wimbledon and Dresden he was admitted in 1847 to
the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and completed his military
training in the School of Military Engineering at Chatham from which
he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1850.
Lieutenant Graham landed in the Crimea in September of 1854, and
took part in the battles of Alma and Inkerman and was twice wounded
at the battle of Sebastopol where the following deed took place for
which he was awarded the Victoria Cross:
On 18 June 1855 in the Crimea, Lieutenant Graham,
accompanied by a sapper (John Perie) showed determined
gallantry at the head of a ladder party at the assault on the
Redan at Sebastopol. He also showed devoted heroism in sallying
out of the trenches on numerous occasions to bring in wounded
officers and men. (London Gazette 24 February 1857.)
His Victoria Cross was presented to him by the Queen at Hyde Park
on the 26th of June, 1857. In addition to the Victoria Cross, for his
services in the Crimea Graham was also made a Brevet Major and a
Knight of the French Legion d’Honneur, received the Crimea medal
with three clasps, the Turkish Crimea medal and the 5th Class of the
Order of the Medjidie.
During the campaign in China he again displayed great courage and
skill and was seriously wounded in the storming of the Taku Forts on
the 21st of August, 1860, by a jingall-ball, but recovered
sufficiently to subsequently enter Peking with the victorious British
For his services in the China campaign he was made a Brevet
Lieutenant-Colonel and a Commander of the Bath and received the
China medal with two clasps.
Following his return to England in 1861, Graham was for 16 years
Commanding Engineer successively at Brighton, Aldershot, Montreal,
Chatham, Manchester, and York. In 1877, he was appointed Assistant
Director of Works for Barracks at the War Office.
In 1882, he accompanied Sir Garnet Wolseley to Egypt as a Brigadier
General commanding the 2nd Brigade of the 1st Division though out
the campaign. (Graham was described by Lord Wolseley as perhaps
the bravest man he had ever met.) He was present at El Magfar,
Kassassin and Tel-el-Kebir. He was promoted to K.C.B. and received
the thanks of both houses of Parliament, the Egypt medal with clasp,
the 2nd Class Order of the Medjidie and the Khedive’s Star. In the
Sudan campaign of 1884, he commanded the force against Osman
Digna, whose army he defeated at El-Teb and Tamai. He was again
thanked by both houses of Parliament, promoted to Lieutenant-
General for services in the field, granted the 1st Class Order of the
Medjidie and awarded two clasps to the Egypt medal. He command
the Suakin Field Force in 1885 for which he was thanked by both
houses of Parliament for the third time, made a G.C.B. and received
another clasp to the Egypt medal.
General Graham was placed on the retired list in 1890. He was made
a G.C.M.C. in 1896 and a colonel commandant of the Corps of Royal
Engineers in 1899. Lieutenant-General Sir Gerald Graham, V.C., G.C.
B., G.C.M.G., died at Bideford from pneumonia on the 17th of
December, 1899, and was buried at East-the-Water Cemetery,
His Victoria Cross is currently owned by his Great, Great, Great
Grandson Oliver Brooks and is displayed at the Royal Engineers
Museum at Gillingham, England.
Besides his military exploits, Graham also published a number of
scientific papers and a contribution to the Fortnightly Review,
entitled "Last Words with Gordon" (1887), and prepared a
translation of Goetze's Operations of the German Engineers and
Technical Troops during the Franco-German War of 1870-71 (1875).