- Name: John Reginald Noble GRAHAM
- D.O.B: 17th Sep, 1892
- D.O.A: 22nd Apr, 1917
- D.O.D: 6th Dec, 1980
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 9th Battalion Princess Louise’s (Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders), attached 136th Company, Machine Gun Corps
Istabulat, Mesopotamia 22 April 1917
22 April 1917
The First World War Mesopotamia 1915-1918
The action which had begun at Istabulat on the Tigris on 21 April 1917 (see above) continued the following day. The Turks had been pushed back three or so miles. The 56th Rifles, Indian Army, had captured a Turkish trench between the river and the Baghdad railway to the west. At about five in the evening the Turks counter-attacked. Lieutenant J R N Graham was in command of a machine-gun section of the 136th Machine Gun Corps, which afforded material assistance in resisting this attack. The Turks began to withdraw and on 24 April the British captured Samarrah, about ten miles further north.
For most conspicuous bravery, coolness and resource when in command of a Machine Gun Section. Lt. Graham accompanied his guns across open ground, under very heavy rifle and machine gun fire, and when his men became casualties, he assisted in carrying the ammunition. Although twice wounded he continued during the advance to control his guns and was able, with one gun, to open an accurate fire on the enemy, who were massing for a counterattack. This gun was put out of action by the enemy’s rifle fire, and he was again wounded. The advancing enemy forced him to retire, but before doing so he further disabled his gun, rendering it useless. He then brought a Lewis gun into action with excellent effect till all the ammunition was expended. He was again severely wounded, and forced through loss of blood to retire. His valour and skilful handling of his guns held up a strong counter-attack which threatened to roll up the left flank of the Brigade, and thus averted what might have been a very critical situation.