Graham Thomson Lyall
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|Graham Thomson Lyall|
8 March 1892|
Chorlton, Manchester, England
28 November 1941 (aged 49)|
Mersa Matruh, Egypt
|Buried||Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery|
Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Years of service||
1914 - 1919 (Canada)|
1919 - 1941 (UK)
102nd Battalion, CEF|
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
First World War|
World War II
Graham Thomson Lyall VC (8 March 1892 – 28 November 1941) was an English-Canadian soldier. Lyall was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Lyall served in both the Canadian and British armies.
Lyall was born in Manchester and joined the Royal Navy to study mechanical engineering. However he was discharged from the Navy after suffering an ear infection. He emigrated to Canada, settling in Welland, Ontario, then moving to Chippawa, where he worked for a power company. He enlisted in the Canadian Militia in August 1914.
Lyall was 26 years old, and a lieutenant in the 102nd (North British Columbians) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War at the battle of the Canal du Nord when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 27 September 1918 north of Cambrai, France, Lieutenant Lyall led his platoon in the capture of a strong-point, together with 13 prisoners, one field-gun and four machine-guns. Later, leading his men against another strong-point he rushed forward alone and captured the position single-handed, taking 45 prisoners and five machine-guns. The completion of his final objective resulted in the capture of 41 prisoners. On 1 October in the neighbourhood of Blecourt, he captured a strongly defended position which yielded 60 prisoners and 17 machine-guns. During both these operations, on attaining his objectives, Lieutenant Lyall tended the wounded under fire.
Lyall returned to the UK in 1919 and joined the British Army. He achieved the rank of Colonel during World War II before dying of a heart attack at Mersa Matruh, Egypt, on 28 November 1941. Lyall is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt located 10 miles east of Libyan border (plot XIX, row B, grave 2).
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Final Days 1918 (Gerald Gliddon, 2000)
- Graham Thomson Lyall's digitized service file
- Biography of Graham Thomson Lyall on DND's Directorate of History and Heritage
- Burial location of Graham Lyall "Egypt"
- News item "Graham Lyall's Victoria Cross donated to the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers Museum"
- Ontario Historic Plaque
- Legion Magazine article on Graham Lyall