Colonel Graham Thompson Lyall, V.C.
The Sash Our Forefathers Wore
Graham Thompson Lyall was born on 8 March 1892 in Manchester, England. He studied mechanical engineering and immigrated to Canada in 1912, settling in Welland, Ontario before moving to Chippawa, where he was employed by the Canadian Niagara Power Company in Niagara Falls.
After the outbreak of war in 1914, Lyall enlisted with the 19th Lincoln Regiment in St. Catherine’s, Ontario. While stationed at St. Catherine’s he joined Loyal Orange Lodge No. 720. In September 1915, Lyall was accepted into the 81st Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force and sailed for England with his battalion in May 1916. Once there, he entered Officers’ training school.
On graduation, Lieutenant Lyall was posted to the 102nd (North British Columbia) Battalion, CEF. This battalion took part in the Battle of Ypres (1917) and the Battle of Amiens (1918). He was awarded his Victoria Cross in 1918 “for most conspicuous bravery and skilful leading during the operations north of Cambrai.”
Lyall was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George in 1919. The following month he married Elizabeth Moffatt Frew and settled in Airdrie, Scotland.
Throughout the inter – war years, Lyall worked for a construction company. On the outbreak of WWII in 1939, he joined the 3rd AA Division Workshop Company, Royal Army Ordnance Corps.
In 1941, he was promoted to Colonel and served in North Africa.
Graham Lyall died of a heart attack on November 28th, 1941 in North Africa and is buried in Halfaya Sollum Cemetery, eleven miles from the Libyan border.