Sir John Graham, 4th Baronet

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Sir John Alexander Noble Graham, 4th Baronet GCMG (born 15 July 1926) is a retired British diplomat who was ambassador to Iraq, Iran and NATO.


Graham, born in Calcutta, British India, the only son of Sir Reginald Graham, 3rd Baronet, was at school at Eton College. He served in the Grenadier Guards from 1944–47,[1] receiving a commission as a second lieutenant on 27 July 1945, barely over a month before the end of the Second World War. Following his military service, he then went with a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge 1948–50. On leaving Cambridge he joined the Diplomatic Service and studied at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies before being posted to Bahrain in 1951, Kuwait in 1952 and Amman in 1953. He was Assistant Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs 1954–57 and then served at Belgrade 1957–60, Benghazi 1960–61, the Foreign Office 1961–66 and Kuwait 1966–69.

He was Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 1969–72, serving Michael Stewart and Sir Alec Douglas-Home. He was then posted as Counsellor (later Minister) and Head of Chancery at Washington 1972–74; Ambassador to Iraq 1974–77;[2] deputy Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) 1977–79; Ambassador to Iran 1979–80;[3] deputy Under-Secretary again 1980–82; and finally Ambassador and Permanent Representative to NATO in Brussels 1982–86.

After retiring from the Diplomatic Service in 1986, Sir John was Registrar of the Order of St Michael and St George 1987–2001[4] and was also Director of the Ditchley Foundation 1987–92.[5]


John Graham was appointed CMG in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1972,[6] knighted KCMG in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 1979 on his appointment to Iran[7] and promoted GCMG in the New Year Honours of 1986.[8] He succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1980.

Offices held[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Donald Maitland
Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by
Antony Acland
Preceded by
break in diplomatic relations
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Iraq
Succeeded by
Alexander Stirling
Preceded by
Sir Anthony Parsons
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Tehran
Succeeded by
break in diplomatic relations
Preceded by
Sir Clive Rose
UK Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Alexander
Baronetage of Great Britain
Preceded by
John Reginald Noble Graham
of Larbert House and Househill
Succeeded by



  1. ^ "No. 37254". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 September 1945. p. 4472.
  2. ^ "No. 46407". The London Gazette. 19 November 1974. p. 11409.
  3. ^ "No. 47912". The London Gazette. 24 July 1979. p. 9366.
  4. ^ "No. 50824". The London Gazette. 6 February 1987. p. 1631.
  5. ^ Who's Who 2017 Sir John (Alexander Noble) Graham
  6. ^ "No. 45678". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1972. p. 6258.
  7. ^ "No. 47869". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1979. p. 3.
  8. ^ "No. 50361". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1985. p. 3.