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Biography of Ron Graham - Signalman - d December 02, 2010

Viewers able to provide more information (stories or photos) are asked to contact Dan Delong.
March 1945 Photo Nene Lives Book Photo
Extracted from the photo of the Crew of the Nene on deck taken March 1945
Photo from the book "NENE LIVES The Story of H.M.C.S. Nene & her Crew" - 1993

Ronald J. Graham - Signalman
Ronald J. Graham was born on July 3, 1924 in Debert, Nova Scotia. He was educated in Debert and Truro, Nova Scotia graduating from high school and business college. Ron joined the navy in May 1942, qualified as a parade training instructor; trained as a draftsman; and qualified as a visual signalman. He served aboard the HMC ships Nene, Charlottetown and Swansea. Ron was discharged from active service on October 20, 1945. He continued in the reserve force for eleven years, including five as Commanding Officer, Sea Cadet Corps, Truro, Nova Scotia. In 1980 Ron retired from the position of Atlantic Regional Superintendent of Station Operations, Standards and Training, of the Atmospheric Environment Service. In 1947 Ron and Mollie Millard were married. They have four children, Carol, Tim, Mary and Kristen and five grandchildren. Ron and Mollie have lived in Debert, Truro, Moncton, Halifax and in Sackville, N.S. since 1975. Ron's community service includes Chairman of a local School Board, Chairman of a Home and School Association, member and Past President of a R.C. Legion Branch. He has served as a Director of the Navy League of Canada. Since retirement Ron has been active in social work, enjoys reading, writing, scroll work, walking and canoeing.

[Added May 2nd, 2007]

Ron, unable to attend the planned May 4th 2007 dinner in Toronto, responded to Ken Riley's request for a message to the group with this, short, reflective story:

Way back in 1942 this Nova Scotia country boy decided to go off to war, an adventure a bit daunting for someone who had never been more than a hundred miles from home. This war meant contending first of all with cities where I had to take my courses, and then bouncing around the North Atlantic on little ships making aimless passages around lumbering convoys, chasing false echoes and flinging depth charges at random. Nothing very memorable about that other than the recollection of standing a middle watch, in a winterís howling gale, on an open bridge, inadequately protected from the elements in a soggy duffle coat. That does prompt one to recall that the Navy did teach one basic strength; endurance.

At the end of all this I, like everyone else, was returned to the point of origin . Since I still didnít know anything worthwhile I plunged into the unknown world of science and technology and spend the next thirty-five years studying my way to retirement. Ah retirement!

Now I would write letters to old friends, compose literary and poetic gems, and let my brilliant mind free to roam at will. Well the letters sort of backfired in that my friends felt compelled to respond and that did not go over very well; the compositions never materialized, and my mind roamed off into the wilderness and I have not had use of it since.

So, old friend, see anything there worth recording? It has taken me eighty-two years to find this old country boy is right back where he started. Which suits me just fine. But Mollie and I sure did collect a fine bunch of friends along the way.

Cheers! Ron

Ron Graham Obituary PhotoGraham, Ronald J. - 86, of Sackville/Bedford N.S., died Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 peacefully at home. Born in Debert N.S., he was the son of the late John A. and Beulah (Geldart) Graham. He served overseas in the Royal Canadian Navy during the Second World War on HMC ships Nene, Charlotttetown and Swansea, including the Murmansk run. During his service on HMCS Nene, one of the Canadian Frigates of the 9th Escort Group, the crew was tasked with the responsibility for the safe escort of 15 U-Boats intercepted at the end of the war, the largest U-boat surrender of the war. He joined the Meteorological Service of Canada in December 1945; worked in various positions in Truro, Moncton and Bedford. He especially enjoyed his work on Sable Island and the Churchill Falls Power project.

He retired from the Department of Environment as Superintendent of Station Operations, Atlantic Region in December 1980. He was a member of the Bedford Baptist Church, a Life Member of the Debert Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion and served as Commanding Officer of the Truro Sea Cadet Corps.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 63 years, Mollie (Millard); children Carol MacDougald, Bedford; Tim (Maureen), Bedford; Mary, Middle Sackville; Kristen (Paul) Soulier, Colorado Springs; grandchildren Jane MacDougald (Richard Clark), Halifax; Nicholas, Quinn and Eillish Graham, Bedford; Matthew, Bethany and Ryan Dunn, Sackville; Emilie and Lily Soulier, Colorado Springs; two brothers, Robert, Manotick, Ontario and Bill (Joyce) of Peterborough, Ontario; one sister, Ellen(George) Brown of Hampton, N.B. He was predeceased by two brothers, Jim, Moncton, N.B. and Glenn, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Cremation has taken place under the direction of A.L.Mattatall Funeral Home, Dartmouth.

A memorial service will be held at Bedford Baptist Church on Tuesday, December 7th at 2:00 pm, with Rev. Bob Ohsberg, Rev. Dr. Ida Armstrong-Whitehouse, and Rev. Dr. Ron MacLean officiating.

No visitation at Ron's request. Family flowers only.

Donations may be made to Bedford Baptist Memorial Fund or the Canadian Diabetes Association (Camp Fund for Children)

The family would like to extend special thanks to the home care workers and VON for their dedicated in-home services during the past year. To view or place an online message of condolence please visit

[Announcements, with photos and condolences, remain online for a short time after the memorial service.]


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