Sir John Graham, 4th Baronet

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Sir John Alexander Noble Graham, 4th Baronet, GCMG (15 July 1926 – 11 December 2019) was a 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 to 1947,[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.

Graham 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, Graham 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]

Graham died on 11 December 2019 at the age of 93.[6]


Graham was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1972 Birthday Honours,[7] knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1979 Birthday Honours on his appointment to Iran,[8] and promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1986 New Year Honours.[9] He succeeded to the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1980.


  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. GRAHAM, Sir John (Alexander Noble), Who's Who 2012, A & C Black, 2012; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2011, accessed 21 Aug 2012
  6. Graham
  7. "No. 45678". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1972. p. 6258.
  8. "No. 47869". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1979. p. 3.
  9. "No. 50361". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1985. p. 3.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Donald Maitland
Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary
Succeeded by
Antony Acland
New office
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
Break in diplomatic relations
Preceded by
Sir Clive Rose
UK Permanent Representative on the North Atlantic Council
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Alexander
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Reginald Noble Graham
of Larbert House and Househill
Succeeded by
Andrew John Noble Graham
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