Memorable Manitobans: Alexander Henry “Alex” Graham (1912-1997)
Born at Winnipeg on 23 July 1912, son of Joseph Henry Graham (1892-1969) and Mary Clark Kirk (1897-1963), he worked as a commodities trader for James Richardson and Sons from 1927 to retirement in 1977. A life-long bagpiper, he was a member of the pipe band for the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders from 1924 to 1968, and served overseas during the Second World War, including at the failed Dieppe invasion on 19 August 1942 where he piped his B Company comrades into battle. He was renowned for the courage he displayed in playing his pipes on the bow of the landing craft as the Camerons approached and then stormed the beach at Pourville, facing a hail of German shells and gunfire. He was subsequently captured and was a prisoner-of-war until the end of the war, whereupon he returned to work for his former employer. In the early days of the war, he married Christine Drummond Lorimer (1914-2011) and they later had three children. After his retirement, he was involved actively with the School of Celtic Studies as well as private teaching and coaching of Cameron cadets. He was Pipe Major of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders from 1947 to 1968. His photograph was featured on the cover of the 1960 book Whatever Men Dare - A History of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada (1935-1960) by R. W. Queen-Hughes. In November 1994, he received the first “Outstanding Citizen” award from the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg. He died at the Deer Lodge Centre on 3 September 1997.
Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Mary Graham], Winnipeg Free Press, 25 February 1963, page 14.
Obituary [Joseph Henry Graham], Winnipeg Free Press, 22 February 1969, page 34.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 4 September 1997, page 44.
Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.
Page revised: 30 January 2019
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