Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 7, 1873
Place of BirthHigh Church, Glasgow
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinCousin, Mrs. E Craig, 563 Alexandria Parade, Dennistoun, Glasgow
Trade / CallingMachinist
Service Details
Regimental Number693358
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion43rd Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentMarch 29, 1917
Age at Enlistment43
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Decorations and MedalsMilitary Medal
Death Details
Date of Death19360529
Age at Death62
Buried AtUnited Church Cemetery, Saanich, British Columbia

Graham, Angus Archibald Buchanan

Angus Archibald Buchanan Graham was born on 7 September 1873 in the District of High Church, Glasgow, Scotland. His parents John Graham, carter, and Elizabeth McCaffer had married 22 November 1861 in High Church. Angus’s grandparents were David and Helen (Buchanan) Graham and Duncan and Margaret (Campbell) McCaffer. The 1881 Scotland census found Angus, occupation given as scholar, living in Tayintsluik, Argyll, residing with the John Barr family. Originally listed as a boarder, it was changed to grandson although the Barrs were not birth grandparents. Also living in the household was his brother Andrew who had been born in 1878.

Using the alias of Angus Graham MacDonald, Angus signed his attestation papers in Kenora, Ontario on 29 March 1917. He gave his place of birth as Islay, Scotland, and birth date as 7 September 1978. It is not known if Angus assumed the alias before coming to Canada or once he had arrived. With fair hair and blue eyes, he listed 13 years of previous service with the Argyll Sutherland Highlanders, and as presently belonging to the 79th Cameron Highlanders of Canada. A local newspaper reported that he had been living in Yumi, Arkansas and had come all the way from there to Kenora to enlist.

With the 174th Battalion (Cameron Highlanders), Angus embarked from Halifax aboard the  Olympic on 28 April 1917. In June he was appointed Acting Lance Corporal at Dibgate, but in August he reverted to Private for purpose of proceeding overseas with the 43rd Battalion. Just a few months later, on 20 November 1917  Angus was awarded the Military Medal.

Later that month Angus was promoted to Corporal and went on course at the 3rd Canadian Divisional School. In late January of 1918 he was granted a two week leave to the UK. In June of 1918, Angus was appointed Lance Sergeant. Later that month he  collapsed while on parade and was eventually evacuated to England. Examined at Bearwood, the diagnosis was Arterio Sclerosis. While in England, attached to the 11th Reserve Battalion, his use of the alias came to light. In late October he signed a declaration of his true identity, accompanied by his birth record.

Granted permission to marry on the 19th, Angus married Agnes Fyfe, daughter of James (deceased) and Annie (Galt) Fyfe on 22 November 1918 in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland. Agnes had been born in Beith, Ayrshire in 1895. Both of Angus’s parents were listed as deceased. Also living in Motherwell was Angus’s sister Elizabeth Saunders and family. On the marriage record, Angus gave his usual residence as 23 Burnside Road, Victoria, Vancouver, British Columbia.

In December of 1918, Angus was transferred to the 1st Reserve Battalion for return to Canada and he was officially discharged on 4 February 1919 in Victoria, British Columbia. Agnes arrived in St John, New Brunswick Canada in April of 1919 aboard the Grampian. The couple went  on to have at least one child, a daughter Helen.

Angus Archibald Buchanan Graham died on 29 May 1936 in Merville, British  Columbia, a small hamlet at the northern end of the Comox Valley  on Vancouver Island. It was named after the location in France where Canadians set up their initial field headquarters during World War 1. Merville BC’s  first inhabitants were a group of soldiers and their families resettled by the government   immediately following the war. Although his death was  almost 18  years after the war, it was ruled due to military service and is listed on the Canada, War Graves Registers (Circumstance of Casualty) 1914-1948, Library and Archives Canada. With his mother deceased, his widow Agnes was sent the Memorial Cross. Angus was interred in the United Church Cemetery in Saanich, British Columbia.

Agnes eventually moved to Victoria where she died on 26 January 1984, informant for her death daughter Helen Cahill. Disposition was by cremation via the Royal Oak Crematorium in Saanich.

by Judy Stockham

Graham-Angus-Archibald-Buchanan-1 Graham-Angus-Archibald-Buchanan-3 Graham-Angus-Archibald-Buchanan-2

Veteran Death Card, Canada, Military Honours and Awards Citation Card, and Canada War Graves Register (Circumstances of Casualty) 1914-1918 card: Library and Archives Canada

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