Graham, Albert



Private Albert Edward Graham – 3055574 – ACTIVE SERVICE (World War I)

Albert Edward Graham was drafted, as a single man, under the Military Act of 1917, at the age of 23 years and 6 months old. He indicates his date-of-birth as June 17, 1894 in Lakefield, Ontario. Albert Graham lists a Laborer as his Trade or Calling. His next-of-kin is shown as his father Mr. Robert Graham of Lakefield. The Medical Examination was carried out in Peterborough, Ontario on November 2, 1917. It shows that Albert Graham was 5′ 3” tall with 36” chest, weighed 130 pounds, had a dark complexion with blue eyes and dark brown hair. He had a scar on the inner left knee. He was classified as Category A2 and as such was considered fit for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. Albert Graham signed the Declaration of Recruit on January 7, 1918 in Kingston, Ontario. With this, he was taken-on-strength, as a Private (Pte) with the 1st Depot Battalion – Eastern Ontario Regiment – Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was assigned Service Number 3055574.

Pte Graham embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 21, 1918 aboard the SS Melita.


He disembarked in England on March 4, 1918. On the same day he was taken-on-strength with the 6th Canadian Reserve Battalion stationed at Seaford, England.

There are no entries in the Military Record from March 4, 1918 to August 17, 1918. Based on the fact that he shipped from Canada, only 6 weeks after being drafted, this time would have been spent in training and becoming familiar with the Military way of doing things.

On April 25, 1918, Pte Graham wrote a Will, when he was with the 6th Canadian Reserve Battalion, it stated: ”In the event of my death I bequeath all my personal property and effects to my mother, Elan Graham of Regent Street, Lakefield, Ontario”.

On August 17, 1918, Pte Graham was posted to the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). The next day, August 18, 1918, he was taken-on-strength with the PPCLI at the Canadian Infantry Base Depot, also located at Seaford, England. On August 23, 1918, Pte Graham embarked from England for the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp (CCRC) in the Field (France), arriving the same day. On August 27, 1918, he left for his Unit. Pte Graham joined his Unit, from the CCRC, on August 28, 1918.

On September 5, 1918, Pte Graham reported to the 8th Canadian Field Ambulance (CFA) with a health condition. The following day, September 6, 1918, he was admitted to the 8th CFA. On September 8, 1918, with what is described as ”a relapse” in his condition, he was admitted to No 2 Stationary Hospital. On September 9, 1918, he was transferred and admitted to No 51 General Hospital for treatment. On this day, a note indicates Pte Graham ”Forfeits Field Allowance and is placed under stoppage of Pay at the rate of 50 cents per diem whilst in Hospital from September 9, 1918, until October 2, 1918, (26 days)”. October 2, 1918, he is admitted to No 7 Canadian Stationary Hospital. On this date, a note indicates ”Forfeits Field Allowance and is placed under stoppages of Pay at the rate of 50 cents per diem whilst in Hospital from October 3, 1918, to November 19, 1918, (48 days)”. On November 19, 1918, after his health condition improved he was sent to the Canadian Infantry Base Depot (CIBD). On November 20, 1918, Pte Graham was taken-on-strength with the CIBD.

Pte Graham was dispatched to the Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp (CCRC) on November 28, 1918. He left the CCRC for his Unit, the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in the Field, on December 9, 1918. He joined his Unit in the field on December 24, 1918. When Pte Graham joined his Unit, on December 24, 1918, the PPCLI, it was in a rest area well away from the front, where it would remain until it and Pte Graham proceeded to England from Le Havre, France on February 7, 1919.

Pte Graham departed from Liverpool, England for Canada on March 5, 1919, on being struck-off-strength from the Oversea Military Force of Canada (OMFC), arriving in Halifax, Canada on approximately March 12, 1919. He was discharged from the Canadian Expeditionary Force, as a result of demobilization, on March 19, 1919, in Ottawa, Ontario.

Private Albert Edward Graham served a total of 14 months and 12 days with the Canadian Expeditionary Force: 1 month and 20 days in Canada, 6 months and 4 days in England, and 5 months and 11 days in France.

There is no reference, in Pte Albert Edward Graham’s Military File, indicating what Military Medals he was awarded but based on his Military Service, he should have received:

British War Medal 1914 – 1920; and
Victory Medal.
He also qualified for War Service Badge CEF Class “A”.

During his time in the Service Albert Edward Graham assigned a $20.00 Pay Allotment and a $25.00 Separation Allotment ($45.00) per month of his pay to his mother. He received the War Service Gratuity and Allowances of $600.00.

An excerpt from an article in McLean’s Magazine by Barbara Ameil, September 1996:

”The Military is the single calling, in the world, with job specifications that include a commitment to die for your Nation. What could be more Honourable?”



Corporal Albert Edward Graham – C 89168 — ACTIVE SERVICE (Veterans Guard of Canada September 23, 1941 to August 10, 1945)

Albert Edward Graham was 46 years, 3 months and 6 days old when, as a married man, he joined the Veterans Guard of Canada at Peterborough, Ontario. He was born June 17, 1894 in Lakefield, Ontario; his next-of-kin was his wife, Dorothy May Graham. Albert Edward was 5′ 4″ tall, had blue eyes and greyish-brown hair; he completed Grade 8 in Lakefield. Albert Edward gave his occupation as a labourer and a sub-foreman in Highway Construction. In addition to the work stated on the Attestation Paper he spent 14 years as a “carriage man” in a lumbering company, 5 years doing mixed farming and 4 years as a driver for an express service. Albert Edward had previous War Service as a Private – Service Number 3055574 with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in France and Belgium as a Rifleman. He had a scar on his right Patella, an old shrapnel wound, from his World War I Service.

Albert Edward Graham was taken-on-strength as a Private (Pte) with the Veterans Guard of Canada (VG of C), No 3 Company, on September 23, 1940 at Ottawa, Ontario.

On March 22, 1941 Pte Graham proceeded on a Furlough until April 4, 1941 when he returned to the VG of C in Ottawa. June 25, 1941 Pte Graham was admitted to the Rideau Military Hospital in Ottawa with a sharp pain in his left chest area for 2 days. He was discharged as cured on July 8, 1941. About July 9, 1941 Pte Graham ceases to be attached to VG of C, Ottawa and is attached VG of C, Camp 40 A at Farnham, Québec. On April 3, 1942 Pte Graham ceases to be attached to Camp 40 A, No 3 Company, Farnham, Québec and is attached to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, VG of C, No 9 Company on Escort Duty.

On May 22, 1942 Pte Graham he was granted a 16-day Furlough and returned June 7, 1942. On September 1, 1942 Pte Graham is appointed Acting Lance Corporal (A/L/Cpl); on September 21, 1942 he was promoted to Lance Corporal (L/Cpl) effective September 1, 1942. November 18, 1942 L/Cpl Graham ceases to be attached to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and is attached to VG of C, Camp 20 C Gravenhurst, Ontario. L/Cpl Graham made a visit to Windsor, Ontario November 18, 1942 and returned to Gravenhurst sometime later. On December 8, 1942 Pte Graham is promoted to the rank of Acting Corporal (A/Cpl); effective November 18, 1942. December 22, 1942 A/Cpl Graham was granted Special Christmas Leave with a Ration Allowance (duration not given).

February 1, 1943 L/Cpl Graham made a monthly pay assignment of $25.00 to his wife Dorothy Graham. March 23, 1943 L/Cpl Graham was qualified to wear the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal ribbon. On April 7, 1943 L/Cpl Graham is back in Gravenhurst and granted 4 days Accumulated Leave, including a $0.50 per diem Ration Allowance; he returned on April 10, 1943. Then, on April 16, 1943 he was granted a 14-day Furlough to April 29, 1943 with a Ration Allowance; he returned from the Furlough on April 29, 1943. April 30, 1943 he ceases to be attached to VG of C, Camp 20 C Gravenhurst and is attached to VG of C, Camp 33 P, Petawawa.

May 7, 1943 L/Cpl Graham is confirmed in the rank of Corporal (Cpl) effective November 18, 1942. June 16 to 19, 1943 Cpl Graham was granted 4 days Leave with a Ration Allowance. Then, on October 18, 1943 he was granted 4 days Leave with a Ration Allowance to October 21, 1943. Following this he was then granted 7 days Special Christmas Leave from December 21 to 27, 1943.

On January 30, 1944 Cpl Graham was granted 4 days Leave with a Ration Allowance to February 2, 1944. March 4, 1944 Cpl Graham ceases to be attached for pay to Camp Details, Petawawa Military Camp on transfer to MD 1 effective March 5, 1944. April 20, 1944 he was granted a 14-day Furlough to May 3, 1944.

May 3, 1944 Cpl Graham is granted a 14-day Furlough and ceases to be attached to VG of C, Camp 33 P, Petawawa and is attached to Camp 30, Bowmanville, Ontario; he remains with VG of C, No 9 Company.
On May 8, 1945 Cpl Graham ceases pay from Port Arthur MD. Then, on May 16, 1945 Cpl Graham was granted 14 days Privilege Leave, with 2-days Travel Time and a Ration Allowance, until May 31, 1945. May 31, 1944 Cpl Graham ceases to be attached to VG of C, Camp 30 Bowmanville and is attached to VG of C North Bay, Ontario.

June 6, 1945 Cpl Graham ceases to be attached to VG of C, North Bay and is attached to VG of C, Camp 133 Lethbridge Alberta. Also the birth of a daughter, Cheryl Maureen is announced. July 12 to 15, 1944 he was granted 4 days Leave with a Ration Allowance. May 16, 1945 he is granted 14 days Privilege Leave to May 31, 1945.

On August 3, 1945 Cpl Graham was struck-off-strength to No 3 DD, Kingston Ontario. On August 4, 1945 Cpl Graham is taken-on-strength to X9 List (3 DD) from No 9 Company, VG of C, Lethbridge Alberta. On August 8, 1945 he was taken-on-strength effective August 4, 1945. August 10, 1945 Cpl Graham was struck-off-strength from No 3 DD, Kingston on discharge effective August 10, 1945. Cpl Albert Edward Graham was discharged, on demobilization, from the Discharge Office at No 3 District Depot, Kingston Ontario on August 10, 1945.

According to his military records; Private Albert Edward Graham earned the War Medal 1939 – 45, also referred to as the General Service Medal, and eligible for the War Service Badge Class C.

Albert Edward Graham performed duties as a Non-Commissioned Officer (Corporal), he served for 59 months (4 years and 11 months). After being discharged he lived at William Street, Lakefield Ontario.

Albert Edward Graham was insured with Manufacturers Life. He received a War Service Gratuity of $442.50 based on: daily rate of Pay $1.70; Subsistence Allowance $1.25 and Dependents Allowance $2.10 for a total Daily Rate of Pay of $5.05. He also received a Clothing Allowance of $100.00 and a Rehabilitation Grant.


Canada also formed the Veterans Guard of Canada during the Second World War, similar to Britain’s Home Guard. Composed of veterans, it guarded prisoners in Canada and performed security duties locally and abroad, in Britain, British Guiana and Newfoundland). The Veterans Guard of Canada had both a full-time and reserve component, and was formed in 1940 from veterans of the Great War to provide additional support for the Canadian Army during the Second World War. Many were stationed in Canada guarding important sites, prisoner of war and internment camps, as well as overseas service. The Guards were given a badge to wear on the hats consisting of a single supporter lion with two motto scrolls with the words Veterans Guard of Canada.
The Veterans Guard were involved in one incident during the Second World War, Battle of Bowmanville, which injured one. The Guards were disbanded in 1947.
The Battle of Bowmanville was a 1942 revolt in the Bowmanville prisoner of war camp, Ontario, Canada. The prisoners, most of whom were higher-ranking German officers, objected to the intended shackling of 100 prisoners. The battle lasted for three days.
The camp residents were mostly Germans captured by the British and sent to Canada for internment in anticipation of a potential invasion of Britain. They were guarded by the Veteran’s Guard of Canada. The violence began after 126 prisoners were sent to another camp to be shackled as a reprisal for the chaining of Canadian soldiers captured at Dieppe. After a period of hand-to-hand fighting, during which one Canadian guard had his skull fractured, 400 prisoners barricaded themselves in a hall. They remained there for over a day while the guards awaited reinforcements. A group of students at a nearby commando course in Kingston, Ontario arrived on Canadian Thanksgiving, subduing the barricaded prisoners with fire hoses and tear gas.
The above history of the Veterans Guard of Canada is courtesy of Wikipedia.



Albert Edward was born on the Centre Line of Smith Township, Ontario on June 17th, 1894 to Robert Graham and Ellen Maria Sage. Albert Edward went by the nickname “Ab”.
Prior to enlisting Ab did some farming near Buckhorn, Ontario and also worked with his parents who were Hotel Keepers at the Lakefield Commercial Hotel on Queen Street.
Ab played goalie for the Lakefield Canoe Hockey team in 1910 at the age of 16 and also for the championship Lakefield Colts Hockey Team in the 1920’s. Needless to say the family heard many stories about his prowess as a goaltender.
After WW I ended Ab worked as a logger; delivered bread to surrounding areas, including Curve Lake, where he had many friends and also worked at the Lakefield Cement Company.
Albert Edward Graham married Jessie Lorine Cummings in Lakefield on September 6, 1922; they had two daughters Yvonne and Betty, sadly Jessie died November 12, 1926 giving birth to their second child Betty. Jessie’s parents are George Cummings and Jemima Dever.
Sometime after Jessie’s passing, Ab married Dorothy May Holmes of Smith Township March 5, 1931 in Peterborough. Ab. They had two daughters; Nancy May, married Glenn Milton Hanes and Cheryl Maureen, married Dr. Melvin Wayne Cooper.
Albert Edward Graham was a proud soldier in both WW I and WW II. Ab and his brother Alfred (Fred) fought with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) in WW I; he was proud to tell people that Princess Patricia inspected their Regiment. Ab served in WW II with the Veterans Guard of Canada (VGofC). He travelled across Canada by train transporting prisoners to various POW camps. When he left the VGofC the prisoners he was helping guard in Kenora, Ontario presented him with a cedar chest for his wife Dorothy and a stone-carved tank and pill box for his daughter Nancy May. Many years later a neighbor of Ab’s, Alex Nicholls, was visiting his family in Germany; he went into a pub and was talking to locals when he was asked if he knew Albert Graham from Lakefield, Ontario? The man had been a POW in Kenora.

Ab had an infectious personality, always a smile and sense of humour; he had many friends in Lakefield and the surrounding area. He loved sports with a passion; especially hockey, he was a Montréal Canadiens fan. Neil Wasson said he remembers Ab and he was well liked and respected by everyone who knew him.


Albert Edward’s parents, Robert Graham, born 1865 and Ellen Maria Sage, born 1867 were married in Lakefield, Ontario on October 15, 1889. Robert and Ellen had 4 children: Ida Victoria, born October 1892; Albert Edward, born June 17, 1894; Alfred Henry, born January 19, 1897 – died in Peterborough July 18, 1978 and James, born 1899. Initially the family lived on the Centre Line of Smith Township; eventually they moved to Regent Street in Lakefield. Robert died August 27, 1945 and Ellen Maria died in 1925; both are interred in the Lakefield Cemetery.