Captain Donald Saunders Graham


Donald Saunders Graham was born on 20 July 1886 at Tattygar, Lisbellaw, County Fermanagh, the eighth of twelve children of Presbyterian Minister Thomas Saunders Graham and his wife Maggie (nee Alister). In 1888 he moved with his family to Comber, County Down, where his father had taken an appointment.

Graham was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, then, like most of his brothers and one of his sisters, he studied medicine – at Queens College Belfast and in Glasgow. Although he commenced study in 1904 it was not until 1916 that he received his qualifications.

On 16 November 1914 he enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast (No.1348). Graham, an active sportsman, was one of four members of the North Down Cricket Club to have joined the regiment, the others being William G.A. Withers, James Mitchell Alexander and Thomas H. Morrow.

In early 1916 he applied for a commission and on 1 March was made a lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, being sent to the Army Medical Corps Training Centre at Limerick.

Graham embarked for France on 17 May 1916. He was promoted to captain on 1 March 1917 and was mentioned in Field Marshal Haig's despatch on 7 April 1918.

He held the rank of acting major from 16 September 1918 to 22 February 1919, relinquishing his commission on 1 March 1919.

After the war Graham took a posting at St Vincent, Windward Islands, in the colonial medical service. He later moved to Nassau in the Bahamas where he worked as a medical practitioner. He married Edith Licretia Knowles there on 22 May 1922.

Graham died at Nassau on 13 December 1950.


Four of Graham's brothers, all doctors, served during the war, all as captains in the Royal Army Medical Corps – Samuel John, William Shepherd, Norman Bell and Llewellyn Drysdale Innes.