With special thanks to Anne Evans.
George was born in 1856 to George Graham and Francis White at Launceston being baptised at St. Mary Magdalene on the 22nd of February 1856. His father was a Solicitor. He completed his schooling by spending 18 months at Bradfield College near Reading where he was a member of the cricket team in 1873 a sport that he was very keen on throughout his youth. He began his legal career by being articled to John Dingley, his father’s partner in Launceston, in October 1873. On qualifying as a Lawyer he joined his father’s firm.
He married Margaret Annie Mitchell of Truro around 1883 and they set up home at St. Stephens House, St. Stephens, Launceston. Together they had three children William b. 1885, Gladys b. 1890, and Olga b. 1895. The marriage broke down in the late 1890’s and the 1901 census shows that George had moved back to the Walk House with his widowed mother Frances, while Margaret had taken a job as a housekeeper at Belmont Castle, Grays, Essex – about as far away as she could get- leaving their daughters boarding at North Hill Rectory and 18-year-old Edwin lodging in Camborne and attending the School of Mines.
In 1902 George filed for divorce and custody of the children, alleging adultery. The case was thrown out because Margaret contested it, and there was insufficient independent evidence to prove the allegation according to the divorce laws of the time, but it is clear from the court papers that the relationship had become extremely bitter.
He was a member of the town council being elected in 1883 serving as a mayor in 1884-85. He resigned from the town council to become part of the Launceston Volunteer Fire Brigade serving as a Lieutenant.
He held many public appointments including the Clerk to the Launceston Board of Guardians and Rural District Council and Superintendent Registrar. He was also a committed Liberal and for many years he was the agent for the party in the Launceston division, filling the position in turn during the memberships of Sir Thomas Acland, Mr. Thomas Owen, Mr. Fletcher Moulton, and Sir George Croydon Marks.
George was living at Prospect house, Launceston in 1911 but by now was suffering from an intermittent illness over a long period of time but died suddenly at home on the 30th of December 1912 aged 55. His younger daughter Olga was the only one of his children to attend the funeral at St Stephen’s church, which was ‘one of the largest ever seen in the borough’ (Western Times).
In spite of their differences, it was Margaret who obtained probate on his will, and presumably benefited from his considerable estate along with their children. All four continued their lives away from Launceston, but kept the link by increasingly using the hyphenated surname of Graham-White.