Saturday 28th November marks 100 years since the Kilmichael ambush – an event in 1920 during the Irish War of Independence.
Cadet Philip Noel Graham from Abingdon was one of 17 men from the the Auxiliary Royal Irish Constabulary killed in the IRA ambush.
Sinn Féin had won a large majority in the 1918 general election in Ireland. The growing popularity of independence led to a war with Britain that began in 1919 and ended in 1921 when leaders of Sinn Féin and the British government agreed to set up the Irish Free State.
Philip Graham grew up in Abingdon and attended Abingdon School. He joined the army at the outbreak of WWI in August 1914 and became a Captain in the Northumberland Fusiliers. He was wounded in France. After receiving a discharge he, along with other ex-servicemen, joined the Auxiliary Royal Irish Constabulary, a unit set up by the British government as they tried to impose order and counter Sinn Féin’s military wing – the IRA.
Cadet Philip Noel Graham was buried at Abingdon Cemetery on December 4th 1920.
Thank you to the Oxford Journal Illustrated for the first and third picture and biographical details.