No. 196

OSB Logo The Old St Beghian
  January 2020


Sir Peter Graham (SH 47-52).

The unexpected but peaceful death occurred in October 2019 of Sir Peter Graham, an outstanding government lawyer who, in a long and distinguished career, drafted well over one hundred Parliamentary Acts, which included such as the Maastricht Treaty, the privatisation of British Rail, the Intelligence Services Act, Sunday Trading and the National Lottery Acts. For his services he was awarded a CBE in 1982 and made a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 1993. He had become a Queen’s Counsel in 1990, having been called to the bar in 1958.

Peter Graham was born in Huddersfield in 1934, and following time at a preparatory school there, he arrived at St Bees in 1947. His wife, Lady Janet Graham, recalls the great pleasure and gratitude he felt towards the school. As well as being a quick-witted and outstanding scholar, he played in the 1st XV in 1950/51 and in the 1st XI and Badminton VIII in 1951/52. As a keen musician, he was assistant organist as well as being Staff Sergeant and Drum Major in the CCF. His literary activities embraced the editorship of the school magazine and acting as librarian. His career at St Bees School ended with his winning an Open Exhibition to St John’s College, Cambridge to read law.

Prior to taking up his place at Cambridge he served for three years as a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. At university he graduated BA with first-class honours in 1957 and then a post-graduate LLB in 1958, although all his time was by no means devoted to studying, for he was a member and eventual leader of the university dance band.

In 1959 he became a member of the Parliamentary Counsel Office and began his long career of drafting the country’s legislation as well as acting as an advisor to various governments. His retirement was spent in his beloved France, where he renovated a chateau, immersed himself in the culture and the community and restored and drove vintage sports cars through the French countryside. He is survived by his third wife, Janet, and two sons from his first marriage.



The St Beghian Society    
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