Private Theodore Graham – C 612545 — NATIONAL RESOURCES MOBILIZATION ACT SOLDIER (World War II)
Theodore was 28 years, 2 months old when, as a single man, he reported to the National Resources Mobilization Act (NRMA) Clearing Depot (CD) at Kingston Ontario on January 11, 1943. He was taken on strength with the NRMA at No 3-A District Depot (DD) at Kingston Ontario on January 11, 1943. He lived in Lakefield Ontario, gave his birth-date as March 21, 1915 and indicate that he had no previous military experience. His employment just prior to enlisting was listed as repairing locks and boats. At the time he was 5′ 7″ tall, weighed 175 pounds, blue eyes and light brown hair. His next-of-kin was his mother, Clara Graham [his father passed away February 18, 1931] and was insured with the Great West Life Insurance Co. Theodore also indicated that he provided $20.00 per month to his mother, as did his brothers and his mother was not in great health. He entered the NRMA as a Private with service number C 612545.
On January 11, 1943 Private Graham was attached to the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) (PF) Wing and on February 2, 1943 he ceased attachment to the Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) (PF) Wing and was re-attached to the 1st Battalion (Bn) Canadian Fusiliers from No 3 NRMA CD. Then on February 3, 1943 he was taken on strength with the 1st Battalion (Bn) Canadian Fusiliers in Vancouver, British Columbia. On April 28, 1943 Private Graham was granted permission to marry Miss Rebecca McMillan Smith, 30 George Street, Peterborough Ontario.
On May 23, 1943 Private Graham ceased to be attached for all purposes (fap) and is struck off strength from No 3 NRMA CD on posting as a member of Home Defence (HD) to Nanaimo, British Columbia. On May 24, 1943 he was taken on strength with the 1st Battalion (Bn) Canadian Fusiliers as a member of Home Defence (HD) from No 3 NRMA CD. June 17, 1943 Private Graham was interviewed; he requested that he be given a chance to drive and be interviewed, reference active service. It was also stated that he was suitable for special advanced training in amphibious operations. On June 24, 1943 Private Graham is now in the Field and was authorized to draw regimental pay of $1.50 per diem.
On July 12, 1943 Private Graham was on duty to Kiska Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska USA for just under six months until January 4, 1944. It should be noted that the First Special Service Force (FSSF) [the Devil’s Brigade) were also involved in the Kiska invasion August 15 to 19, 1943. On December 1, 1943 Private Graham ceased to be a member of HD on becoming a NRMA soldier. January 8, 1944 Private Graham was granted Special Leave with rations and allowances. On January 15, 1944, with permission, he married Miss Rebecca McMillan Smith. He also changed his next-of-kin from Mrs. Clara Graham (mother) to Mrs. Rebecca McMillan Graham (wife) of 151 Wescott Street, Peterborough Ontario. February 28, 1944 Private Graham’s Pulhems were lowered to L-3 due to broken arches. It was stated that he was suitable for HWE employment only.
On April 30, 1944 Private Graham was struck off strength to the 1st Bn Oxford Rifles and was taken on strength by the 1st Bn Oxford Rifles from the 1st Battalion (Bn) Canadian Fusiliers. Private Graham’s Personnel Selection Report dated June 19, 1944 indicates that he requested a compassionate transfer to be closer to his mother. September 5, 1944 he was granted Leave and Privileged Leave of 25 days with rations and allowances to September 29, 1944. Then on September 30, 1944 Private Graham was struck off strength to No 32 Canadian Army Medical Corps (CAMC) Basic Training Course (BTC) on transfer to the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC). On October 1, 1944 he was taken on strength with No 32 CAMC BTC, Peterborough Ontario from the 1st Bn Oxford Rifles, Nanaimo British Columbia.
Private Graham’s daughter Karren Rebecca Agnes was born October 14, 1944. On December 30, 1944 Private Graham was granted 5 days New Year’s Leave to January 3, 1945. December 31, 1944 he was struck off strength from the Holding Establishment (HE) to the Home War Establishment (HWE) and then taken on strength to the HWE from the HE January 1, 1945.
Private Graham was granted 14 days Privileged Leave with rations and allowance on July 2, 1945; at this time he was with the 7th Infantry Training Battalion in Peterborough Ontario. Then on December 23, 1945 he was granted Special Leave with rations and allowance to December 27, 1945. On January 30, 1946 Private Graham was struck off strength to DD 3 and also granted Subsistence Allowance from January 30, 1946 to February 8, 1946. The next day, January 31, 1946 he was taken on strength to the DD 3 in Kingston Ontario.
On February 13, 1946 Private Theodore Graham was discharged from the Canadian Army. Private Graham was awarded the following medals: 1939 – 45 Star; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar; and War Medal 1939 – 45. He also qualified for War Service Badge A. He was granted a Clothing Allowance of $100.00 and the Rehabilitation Grant.
Theodore Graham served for 3 years, seven months and 10 days in Canada plus 5 months, 22 days on duty to Kiska Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska USA. During his time in the Service he would have allotted about $20.00 per month of his pay to his mother initially and then his wife.
An excerpt from an article in McLean’s magazine by Barbara Amiel, 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 honorable?
Theodore was born March 21, 1915 in Smith Township, Peterborough County, Ontario, the seventh of 12 children, 10 boys, 2 girls, born to Clara and Isaiah Graham. Theodore was known to all people as “Red”. In 1930, at the age of 15 years, Theodore left school part of the way through grade VIII to go to work. Prior to reporting to the No 3 Clearing Depot in Kingston during World War II he worked for 2 months for the Trent Canal Waterways in Lakefield Ontario repairing locks and boats. Theodore worked for 6 years as an underground miner for Buffalo Anchorite in the Timmins area; 2 years as a truck driver for Coyle’s Ethyline Co.; 2 years as a Dairy Worker for Campbell’s Dairy and 2 years doing labour and construction for various employers. According to his military file he liked skating, skiing, swimming and hunting and enjoyed dancing, cards and bowling.
Upon his discharge from the Army Theodore lived in Peterborough with his wife Rebecca and daughter Karren. He prearranged his employment in a creamery for after his discharge. Theodore married Rebecca McMillan Smith January 15, 1944 in Peterborough. Their daughter Karren Rebecca Agnes was born October 14, 1944, Jeanne Helen was born May 12, 1946, Wendy Gaye was born December 1, 1952 and Theodore (Ted) Allen was born November 25, 1957.
Red’s daughter Karren related that “dad also worked for Uncle Elmer (his brother) at his Bait Shop in Lakefield. I remember drives up Bancroft way with lots of fishing bait which we delivered to resorts and towns along the way. He traveled as far as Maynooth & Palmer Rapids areas. As a fishing guide for a while, he made many lasting friendships with avid fisherman who traveled to Ontario from the United States each summer to enjoy the abundant supply of local fish. A boat builder by trade, he worked for Peterborough Canoe Co. and Lakefield Boats for twenty years, around the time De Richer ran the business and mom and him became good friends with him & his wife. For many years he was manager of the Lakefield Park in the summer months and during the winter was manager and ice maker at the Lakefield Curling Club. An active curler himself he was the recipient of their plaque for sportsman’s-like conduct. For over twelve years he was games-keeper at Buckley’s Duck Marsh for the Canard Gun Club.”
Karren added; “Red” as he was known to all, was a good athlete all his life, playing hockey and softball in his younger years, and also never losing his love for hunting and fishing and was a member of the Kaskara Deer Hunting Club of Denbeigh Township, Palmer Rapids, Ontario. His children, grandchildren and great grandchildren carry on those traditions today. Through all his endeavors he made many lasting friends with whom he shared many memories, and to this day we still are reminded by those remaining of what a special person he was.
Theodore Graham died Nov 9, 1983 at the Kaskara Deer Hunting Club, at 68 years, 7 months and 19 days of age.
THE GRAHAM FAMILY OF LAKEFIELD
Isaiah Graham, born April 3, 1873 in Smith Township, Peterborough County died Feb 18, 1931 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Peterborough Ontario due to a brain tumour. He married Karen Marie (Clara) Rasmussen, born 1880 in Denmark, on February 2, 1902 in Duluth Minnesota, USA. She died October 25, 1968, in Lakefield Ontario. Isaiah, a farmer, moved his family to Lakefield in 1923/24. Isaiah’s father was Henry Graham, born in Ireland; his mother was Annie McConkey, born in Scotland.
Isaiah and Clara Graham had 12 children; ten boys and two girls in the following order: Ena (Annie) Graham, born August 24, 1903 in Duluth Minnesota; George Henry Graham, born April 23, 1905 in Duluth Minnesota; Walter Edward Graham, born April 10, 1907 in Duluth Minnesota; Mary Ellen Graham born June 2, 1909 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Gerald Graham, born July 17, 1911 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Norman Graham, born May 27, 1913 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Theodore Graham, born March 21, 1915 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Wesley James Graham, born July 15, 1916 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Allen Ernest Graham, born July 6, 1918 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Beverly Garnet Graham, born July 26, 1920 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; Elmer Fraser Graham, born June 23, 1923 in Smith Township, Peterborough County; and Arnold Mervin Graham, born December 12, 1925 in Lakefield, Ontario.
Their mother, Clara, a remarkable lady, kept the household together in their own home on Nelson St. with the assistance of the older children, and by having boarders. To know any of the Graham family was to readily become aware of the love, respect and devotion they shared for their mother, Clara.
In Lakefield, during the WW II times, it was a common sight to see Mrs. Clara Graham coming out of the Post Office with a bundle of mail. All seven of her sons wrote to her on a frequent basis.