Lot Archive


№ 218


16 October 1996

Hammer Price:

Abyssinia 1867-68 (Bosn. Mate J. Graham, H.M.S. Octavia) neat repair to suspension, otherwise good very fine

This lot was sold as part of a special collection, The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals.

View The Douglas-Morris Collection of Naval Medals


John Graham was born in Woodstock Street, Liverpool on 12 July 1844. He joined the service as a Boy 2nd Class aboard H.M.S. HASTINGS on 8 November 1859. His first full Commission was served aboard H.M.S. RINALDO (1861-65) where he was advanced to Able Seaman on 2 May 1864, and paid off direct to H.M.S. OCTAVIA on 10 February 1865. Received accelerated advancement aboard her to Leading Seaman in April 1866 and to Petty Officer status as a Bosun's Mate on 27 October 1866. Was mentioned in despatches whilst ashore with the Rocket Brigade for his exertions in rear of the Naval Brigade, on the almost continuous duties of “mule re-loading”. Their Lordships, in approbation of his duties during the march to Magdala, promoted him to Acting Boatswain R.N. on 27 September 1868, which led to confirmation as a Boatswain 2nd Class on 1st April 1870. Subsequently he served aboard H.M.Ships DAPHNE (1869-70), IMPLACABLE (1870-74) where he received the commendation from his Captain of ‘shewing promise of becoming a very good Boatswain’, FOX (1874-77) and IRIS. He then misbehaved and was sentenced in August 1881 by Court Martial to be dismissed his ship and lose 18 months seniority. His last vessel was H.M.S. MIRANDA which he joined directly from IRIS under a cloud, only to repeat his misbehaviour when charged with disobedience, being absent without leave, drunkenness and disrespect to Lieutenant Trench. At his Court Martial held on 10 October 1882 he was sentenced to be dismissed from Her Majesty's Service.