Corporal John Joseph Graffham

Thank you to Lenka Cathersides for the following research.

John Joseph Graffham Birth Registration © findmypast.co.uk
John Joseph Graffham Birth Registration © findmypast.co.uk

John Joseph Graffham was born in the 3rd quarter of 1890 in Dorking to widower Peter Graffham and widow Susannah Poplett nee Stemp.

John’s father Peter Graffham was born about 1850 in Great Bookham and was baptised on the 15th of September 1850 in Great Bookham. Peter’s parents and John’s grandparents were called Henry Graffham, a labourer and Eleanor Graffham.

Peter married his first wife Sarah Coe on the 13th of April 1873 at St Mary in Ewell. At the time of the marriage he was working as a labourer. Sarah’s father was called James Coe and he was working as a bricklayer.

During the 1881 Census, the young family lived at Cotmandene in Dorking. Peter was working as a labourer and Sarah was looking after their sons Frederick P. Graffham and Walter Graffham.

In the first quarter of 1885 Sarah died in Dorking.

The widowed Peter married his second wife Susannah Poplett nee Stemp on the 27th of September 1885 at St Nichols in Great Bookham. At the time of the marriage both lived at Great Bookham and Peter was working as a labourer.

Susannah Poplett was also a widow. She was born in the 4th quarter of 1853 in Great Bookham (Registration District of Epsom) to a labourer Henry Stemp and his wife Caroline. Susannah was baptised on the 13th of November 1853 in Great Bookham.

Susannah married her first husband George Poplett by Banns on the 5th of October 1878 at St Nicolas in Great Bookham. Susannah and George were both living at Great Bookham at the time of the marriage and George was working as an agricultural labourer. George’s father was called Henry Poplett and he was also a labourer.

During the time of the 1881 Census, Susannah, George and their children Annie L. Poplett, George H. Poplett and James A. Poplett lived at Phoenice Cottage in Great Bookham. They had also a lodger called Henry Wood. George died in the 2nd quarter of 1882 in Registration District of Epsom.

In 1885 Peter Graffham and Susannah Poplett got married. In 1890 John Joseph Graffham was born.

John Joseph Graffham 1891 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
John Joseph Graffham 1891 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

At the time of the 1891 Census, the new family lived at Moleside, in Dorking. Apart from Peter and Susannah the family consisted of Frederick Graffham, Walter Graffham, May R. Graffham and Maude M. Graffham, the children from the first Peter’s marriage. A farm labourer George H. Poplett, James Poplett and William Poplett were Peter’s stepsons. Florence E. Graffham and John Joseph Graffham were children born into the new marriage.

John Joseph Graffham 1911 Army Census © Ancestry.co.uk
John Joseph Graffham 1911 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

By the time of the 1911 Census John’s parents moved to 15 Lyndale Road in Redhill and John became a private of the 1st Battalion the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment of Infantry. He resided at the Longmoor Military Camp in Longmoor, East Liss, Hampshire.

In the 4th quarter of 1911 John Joseph married Daisy Lily Denman at Reigate District.

Daisy Lily was born in the 1st quarter of 1894 in Redhill (Registration District of Reigate) to Albert and Annie Denman.

At the time of the 1901 Census, Daisy was living with her family at Albury Road in Merstham. Albert was working as a general labourer. Daisy died in September 1945 in Registration District Surrey South Eastern.

John Joseph Graffham enlisted in Guildford. At the time of his enlistment he resided at Redhill. Firstly he became part of the 1st Battalion, the Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. Later he became a corporal of the 2nd Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment. His regimental number was L/9443. John disembarked on the 4th of October 1914 in France.

John Joseph Graffham was killed in an action on the 28th of July 1915 in or near a village Richebourg-l’Avoue in France.

He is buried at the Rue-des-Berceaux Military Cemetery, France. His grave registration number is: I.B.17.

John Joseph was awarded the British War and Victory medals and the 1914 Star.

John Joseph Graffham Soldiers Effects © Ancestry.co.uk
John Joseph Graffham Soldiers Effects © Ancestry.co.uk

By 1920 John’s wife Daisy Lily lived at 9 Feldwick Place in Redhill, Surrey. She was given £4, 13s and 1d on the 8th of November 1915 and £6 on the 30th of July 1919 in Soldier’s Effects.

John Joseph Graffham was 25 years old.

Born                            Dorking, Surrey
Lived                           Redhill, Surrey

Son of                         Peter Graffham and widow Susannah Poplett nee Stemp.
Husband of                 Daisy Lily Graffham (nee Denman) of 9, Felwick Place, Redhill, Surrey

Enlisted                        Guildford

Regiment                     2nd Battalion. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number                       L/9443

Date of Death              28th July 1915
Place of Death             France
Cause of Death           Killed in Action

Age                              25

Cemetery                     Rue-des-Berceaux Military Cemetery, Richebourg-l’avoue