|A special thanks to Mr. Mark Reid who provided research that identified this solider. Although holding the rank of Captain in the
British Army when this photograph was taken, John Crum Grahame DSO seems to have been temporarily appointed to the
Egyptian rank of Bimbashi which was the equivalent to the British rank of Major. Mr. Reid points out that according to Egyptian
regulations Grahame's sword belt should have been worn under his tunic and not on top of it.
Grahame's campaign medals showing how the medals were not attached to the ribbons which appear to be sewn on his tunic. The
medals seem to have been pinned on separately - a rather unorthodox method of display on a uniform. Also by this time Grahame
had been awarded the DSO which is not being worn in this photo although there appear to be four ribbons and only three medals.
|John Crum Grahame was born at Auldhouse, Renfrewshire, 2 February 1870, son of James Grahame and Agnes Crum, daughter of
John Crum, of Thornliebank; and great-grandson of Archibald Graharne, of Drumquhassle, Drymen, Stirlingshire. He was educated
at Cargilfield, and Harrow.
After leaving school in 1887 He joined the 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant on 9 April 1892 having already
been seen service with the Militia. Promoted Lieutenant 22 November 1894 he saw extensive service with his battalion the
North-West Frontier of India in 1897-98 while attached to the Malakand and Buner Field Forces. He was presented the 1895 India
General Service Medal with the clasp "Punjab Frontier, 1897-98".
Attached to 1st Battalion West African Frontier Force, he participated in Ashanti Campaign of 1900 under Colonel Sir James
Willcocks. Seeing action at Kokofu, Kumassi, Danassi, and Obassi. He received a rather brief Mention in Despatches from Colonel
Willcocks: "This officer did very good work". Even a short Mention was better than no mention one might assume. For his services
in West Africa Grahame was awarded the 1901 Ashanti Medal with the clasp "Kumassi". During this campaign Grahame was
promoted Local Captain.
During 1901-2 he took part in operations in Southern Nigeria with the 3rd Battalion, West African Frontier Force. Appointed Local
Major he was once more Mentioned in Despatches: "After the capture of Aro Chuko, this officer was selected to disarm and
subjugate a large extent of territory. So well was this duty carried out that I was enabled to bring hostilities to a close at least a
month sooner than I anticipated, and before the rains set in". During the campaign he was slightly wounded. Adding to his growing
collection of medals he was awarded the 1902 African General Service Medal with clasp "Aro 1901-2". Additionally with the following
citation published in the 12 September, 1902 edition of the London Gazette: "John Crum Grahame, Captain, Highland Light
Infantry. For services during the Aro Expedition in Southern Nigeria.", Grahame was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished
Serving with the Egyptian Army and the Sudan Civil Administration from 1904 to 1907 Grahame may well have posed for this
photograph at the time of his appointment.
After the end of his Egyptian service Grahame was promoted Major 18 December 1908 and commanded the detachment of his old
battalion, the 2nd Highland Light Infantry, which took part in the Coronation of King George V and was awarded the 1911Coronation
Medal. He assumed command of the Depot of the Highland Light Infantry at Hamilton, a post he held between 1911 and 1912.
With the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, he was appointed to command the 10th (Service) Battalion Highland Light
Infantry, which he raised, organized and trained. In May 1915, he deployed with his battalion to France, and saw action at Festubert
and Cambrai. At the Battle of Loos he was severely gassed and in January, 1916 was Mentioned in Despatches for "gallant and
distinguished conduct in the field". Grahame continued in command of the 10th Highland Light Infantry till 9 March 1916, when
probably due to the accumulated effects of front line service he was invalided home.
He returned to the Western Front again in December 1916, and was in command of the 10/11th Highland Light Infantry, and later of
the 12th Battalion, and of the 9th Battalion (Glasgow Highlanders). Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 16 December, 1916, he
assumed field command of his old battalion, the 2nd Highland Light Infantry. Grahame was very severely wounded during the Battle
of Arras in April 1917. It seems that this final wounding kept him from the front until the end of the war. For his war service Grahame
was entitled to the 1914 -15 Star and the British War and Victory Medals.
During his spare time while on campaign Grahame indulged in the pastimes common to British officers. He traveled through the more
remote parts of east Europe and Asia Minor and while in Egyptian service hunted along the Blue Nile.
John Crum Grahame married the former Miss Alice Clara Purvis on 27 July 1905, at St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh. He died at
Dumbartonshire on 19 August, 1952 at the age of 82.
Unknown African Location