Otto Franklin Graham was born on 13th February 1893 in Southampton, Ontario.
The 1901 Census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Graham family was living in Bruce, North Ontario and the family consisted of Head, William Graham aged 31 years. He was born in Ontario on 10th May 1868 and was a Printer by trade. His wife was Florence (nee Shular) who was aged 35. She had been born in Ontario on the 24th August 1865. They had a daughter Violet, aged 12 who was born on the 3rd October 1888. They had two sons, Otto Franklin aged 7 and Howard 5 who was born on 18th November 1896.
The 1911 Census reveals that there had been some additions to the family, namely Jasper Aberdeen born on 16th January 1898, Gordon born on 14th June 1900 and Marjorie Eleanor born on 1st April 1907. The family was living on Dollca Road, Victoria. William was still employed as a Printer. Otto Franklin Graham was 17 years of age, unfortunately I cannot decipher his trade from the census form.
Otto’s Mother died on 8th July 1913 in Victoria.
Army records tell us that Otto Franklin Graham enlisted into the Canadian Forestry Troops on 8th November 1915 at Victoria, British Columbia. He was a Labourer by trade at that time and gave a next of kin as his father William Graham of 57, San Juan Ave, Victoria,British Columbia. This was also Otto’s home address. If you wish to read about the Canadian Forestry Troops please follow the link.
Otto did basic training in Canada and embarked for England from Halifax on 1st April 1916. On arrival in Liverpool on 12th April 1916 he was posted to Bramshott Army Camp to complete training before deployment overseas. On the 31st May 1916, Otto was admitted to hospital with tonsilitis and discharged the next day. He was also admitted to hospital in Aldershot between 15th June 1916 and the 24th June 1916.
Otto was deployed with the 67th battalion on 6th October 1916 and remained in the Field until hostilities ceased. During his time in France, Otto sustained a gun shot wound to his forearm on 10th June 1917 and was gassed on several occasions. He also had bronchitis and was admitted to hospital in Rouen on 4th September 1918.
Otto was posted to Kinmel Camp at the end of the war to await repatriation to Canada. Sadly Otto contracted Bronchial Pneumonia, and was admitted to the Canadian General Hospital where he died on 26th February 1919.
(From Library and Archives of Canada. Soldiers of the First World War 1914-1918).
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
He is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery at Bodelwyddan, U.K.
Otto is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
Additional family information.
Otto Franklin’s brother Jasper Aberdeen born on 16th January 1898 enlisted on 18th January 1916, he was a Sailor by trade and gave the family address in San Juan.
He survived the war and died on 23rd January 1966.
Otto’s Father William remarried in 1919 to Emily Day.
I would like to thank Carroll who has supplied these photographs from her family tree which can be seen on Ancestry.co.uk Her connection to the Grahams is explained as follows…….
” My husband’s grandfather, is Howard Edison Graham, Otto’s brother, and there are a few pictures of him on there and a couple of Violet Graham, his sister. I have unearthed a small letter addressed to Otto on the back of some of Howard’s photos. The letter was written, by my husband’s grandmother, Mamie Walker, before she married Howard.”
She has kindly allowed me to use the photos and information for this website. Scroll down after the google map below to see them.
The 1921 census for Canada on Ancestry.co.uk reveals that Otto’s father and Step Mother were living in Victoria City, British Columbia.
The rest of the family was living at 850, Carrie St, Nanaimo, British Columbia. The head of the household is shown as Violet Graham aged 32. Her brother Jasper Aberdeen of single status was an Undertaker by trade.Gordon, aged 21 was a Marine Firman by trade and Marjorie Eleanor was 14 years of age and a scholar.
Howard died on January 27th 1945 in Victoria aged 48.
William Graham (Otto’s father) died on 13th August 1951 age 84
Emily Graham nee Day (Otto’s step mother) died in 1958.
Violet died 5th July 1963
Gordon died 31st December 1964 in Victoria.