Name: Robert Tedcastle Graham

 

Birth Date: 1895 Where: Victoria
Died: 29 July, 1916 Where: Pozieres, France
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA Age: 20
Serial Number: 1164 & 428 Battalion: 28th
Rank on Enlistment: Private Rank on Discharge/Death: Private

Awards: 1914 - 15 Star, British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal,

 

Photograph Graham
Service Details:

 

 

4 March

1915                      Blackboy Hill Training camp

9 June

1915                      Embarked from Fremantle

August

1915                      Embarked Egypt

10 Sept. – 12 Dec.

1915                      Gallipoli

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

29 July

1916                      Killed in Action, Pozieres (Sausage Valley)

 

 

 

 

Biographical Details:Robert Tedcastle Graham was born to Robert Tedcastle and Jane Webb Graham in Shepparton, Victoria in 1896. He was just 19 when he enlisted and required a letter of permission from his mother.
At some stage the family had moved to Western Australia. Robert was working as a labourer when he enlisted. Because he had 12 months with a Citizen Military Force unit, the 86th Infantry (the Western Australian Rifles) he was initially attached to the No. 11 Depot Company. Robert was transferred to the 28th Battalion when it was formed on the 16th April 1915. At this stage his regimental number was 428. After his death a mistake on a list of casualties resulted in his regimental number being changed to 1164.
Robert took part in the Trench Raid as a member of the Covering Party. He was near Gould and McLeod when they were killed by a shell while sheltering in no-man’s-land.
Robert’s career with the AIF was not faultless.  In September 1915 he was given 14 days detention for being drunk and disorderly. This was at the time of the Heliopolis riots in Egypt and any kind of drunkenness or disorderly behaviour incurred harsh penalties.
In July 1916 Robert was given 48 hours Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeited three days pay for being absent in the field for 12 hours. Whether he completed his Field Punishment is not known. Robert was killed at Pozieres two weeks later.
During a Red Cross Enquiry Thomas Robe, a fellow Black ANZAC, gave the following statement:
I knew Graham; he was in the original Batt. In C. and his name was Roy; his No. ought to be from 460-555. I saw him lying dead at Pozieres on night of 28th July 1916; he was hit in the head and from the injury which I inspected as I am a Stretcher Bearer, I believe he was killed instantly. He was about 5 ft. 7 in., fairish, slim about 22 years and came from Subiaco, W. Australia. I am quite sure it was he. I do not know if he was buried.
Like so many who fell at Pozieres the site of Robert Graham’s grave is unknown.  His name has been added to a wall of the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France.
Twelve months after Robert’s death his father wrote to AIF Base Records seeking an official Death Certificate and his son’s personal effects.  Unfortunately by that time they had been lost and his kit bag, held at the AIF Kit Store in London, contained no personal items. After the war Robert’s father was given Robert’s three Service Medals, a Memorial Scroll and a Memorial Plaque.