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Thomas Walter Grafton Grattan

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Lifetime: 1879-1919

2nd Lieutenant Thomas Walter Grafton Grattan of the Royal Garrison Artillery 12th Siege Battery died on 24 January 1919 of pneumonia following influenza at the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton. He is buried at Kingston on Thames Cemetery.

According to the record of his baptism on 23 August 1879, he was born on 8 July 1879 and his father was a bookseller who lived on King’s Road, Kingston on Thames. By 1881 the family comprised: Walter Grafton Grattan (24), a bookseller born in Highbury; his wife, Mary (25) born in Cambridge; Thaomas Walter (1) born in Norbiton and his sister, Mary (1 month) also born in Norbiton.They lived at Dabendon, King’s Road, Kingston on Tahmes His obituary in The Surrey Comet dated 29 January 1919 states that he was the eldest son of Councillor and Mrs WG Grattan of Lisdhu, Park Road, Kingston Hill.

He was commemorated on the war memorial in St Mark’s Church but his connection with the area has yet to be established.

An old boy of Tiffins, he served in the Yeomanry in the Boer War originally as a Private but reaching the temporary rank of Lieutenant, according to the London Gazette dated 11 March 1902, with effect from 14 February 1902. After that war he joined the South African Civil Service. He must have married in South Africa, as his Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry refers to him as the son of Walter and Mary Grafton-Grattan and the husband of Violet A Grafton-Grattan of 129 Ivy Rd, Norwood, Johannesburg, South Africa. His obituary suggests he and his wife had a child aged seven.

On the outbreak of war, according to his obituary, Grafton Grattan tried to re-enlist but was repeatedly turned down. Eventually in 1917 he managed to enlist in the South African forces as a Private. He was sent to England where after initial training he entered Cadet School for officers. He was granted a commission early in 1918 and was finally sent to France in February 1918, according to his Medal Roll, in time to face the German Spring Offensive launched in March. During the intense fighting of the initial offensive he was wounded by shell fire. In fact, he was the only survivor of his battery: the remainder of his battery were either killed or captured.

After he had recovered in hospital he was declared medically unfit for further overseas service and was posted to a reserve unit at Shoreham in July 1918 where he trained new recruits. It was at Shoreham that he contracted influenza which developed into pneumonia. Within a week of his admission to hospital he was dead.

He was buried with full military honours. 2nd Lieutenant Grafton Grattan is commemorated on the Kingston War Memorial and in the war memorials in St Paul’s, Kingston Hill and in St Mark’s, Teddington as well as the Tiffin Boys’ School War Memorial. He is also has an entry on the Online WW1 War Memorial for Teddington.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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