Young, Graham C

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Young, Graham C

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Graham Conacher Young studied architecture at The Glasgow School of Art from 1909 to 1911, alongside his elder brother Cedric, also an architecture student.

His biography is detailed in the Dictionary of Scottish Architects as follows. Graham Conacher Young was born on 29 March 1892, the younger son of George Penrose Kennedy Young of Perth, and his wife Charlotte Ann Young Conacher. He attended Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh in 1906 and 1907, and probably began his training in his father's office, but in 1909 moved to Glasgow as an articled apprentice to James Miller, enabling him to study at the Glasgow School of Architecture under Eugène Bourdon. He then worked as a draughtsman to Peter McGregor Chalmers before returning to Perth in 1913 to join his father as an assistant.

The following year he entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, enlisting in the 1st Seaforth Highlanders, and he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps and RAF between 1916 and 1919, rising to the rank of Flight Commander in 1918. He remained in active service after the end of the First World War, being seconded to the Royal Tank Corps from 1920 to 1923 and serving with No 2 Armoured Car Company in the Arab rebellion in Mesopotamia in 1920 and 1921. Through the course of his military career he served in France, Egypt, Persia and Iraq.

Although he retired from the army in 1923, an illness contracted during his military service prevented him from returning to practise until 1925 when his elder brother Cedric left for Canada; but even then he had not fully recuperated, and after only six months of work he was again forced to withdraw from the profession. It was not until December 1929 that his health had recovered sufficiently for him to continue pursuing his career, and he was then taken into partnership by his father. He became sole partner when his father died in October 1933, his brother Cedric then being in Canada. Much of the practice was in England, building or altering branches for the General Accident Fire & Life Corporation.

Graham Young was very tall and of commanding appearance. He married Elsie Morgan, daughter of J Morgan, in 1932, and was admitted LRIBA on 1 May of the following year, his proposers being William Salmond, Charles Geddes Soutar and Patrick Hill Thoms. His father died on 28 October 1933, leaving him to continue the practice alone, which he did under the existing name of G P K Young & Son. He was elevated to FRIBA on 10 July 1939, proposed by Donald Alexander Stewart, Robert Matthew Mitchell and another. Young resumed his military career in 1939, taking charge of civil defence and becoming an instructor at the local Air Cadet Corps; he was Perth Company Commander of the Home Guard, 1940-45. He resumed full-time practice after the war and was President of the Dundee Institute of Architects 1953-55.

Young died on 29 November 1962 at his home in Perth. He was survived by his wife Elsie Jessie Graham Morgan whom he had married in 1932. Graham C Young is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's First World War Roll of Honour.

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Sources: Dictionary of Scottish Architects 1840-1980 http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk

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