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Transcript of interview: Sir John Graham, 2016

Reference Code: GBR/0014/DOHP 147

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

The programme comprises transcripts of interviews with senior diplomats.


  • Creation: 2016

Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.

Biographical / Historical

John Graham was born 15 July 1926, son of Sir John Reginald Noble Graham, 3rd Baronet, VC, OBE and Rachel Septima (d 1984), daughter of Colonel Sir Alexander Sprot, 1st and last Baronet. He was educated at Eton College (scholar) and Trinity College, University of Cambridge (scholar), and succeeded his father as the 4th Baronet in 1980. In 1956 he married (1st), Marygold Ellinor Gabrielle Austin (d 1991), having two sons and one daughter, and (2nd), in 1992, Jane, widow of Christopher Howells.

Having served in the Army, 1944-47, before his time at Cambridge, 1948-50, Graham joined the Foreign Service in 1950, and after training at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies in 1951, his diplomatic career included the following posts: Third Secretary, Bahrain 1951, Kuwait 1952 and Amman [Jordan] 1953; Assistant Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs [first Anthony Eden, later 1st Lord Avon, then Harold Macmillan, later 1st Lord Stockton, and finally John Selwyn Lloyd], 1954-57; First Secretary, Belgrade [Yugoslavia, later Serbia], 1957-60, Benghazi [Libya], 1960-61; Foreign Office (Personnel Department and Permanent Under-Secretary’s Department), 1961-66; Counsellor and Head of Chancery, Kuwait, 1966-69; Principal Private Secretary to Foreign Secretary [first Michael Stewart then Alexander Douglas-Home], 1969-72; Counsellor (later Minister) and Head of Chancery, Washington [United States], 1972-74; Ambassador to Iraq, 1974-77; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1977-79; Ambassador to Iran, 1979-80; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, FCO, 1980-82; Ambassador and UK Permanent Representative to NATO, Brussels [Belgium], 1982-86. Following his retirement from the diplomatic service, Graham became Director of the Ditchley Foundation, 1987-92. Sir John died on 11 December 2019.


1 file(s)

Language of Materials



Graham, Sir John Alexander Noble, 1926-2019, 4th Baronet of Larbert, knight, diplomat

Finding aid date

2016-05-12 11:23:07.713000+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087