Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: February 02, 2021
Webpage updated: February 02, 2021

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Harman John Howland Graves was born at Colchester, Essex, to Mr John Coupland Graves (1821-1899), draper, and his wife, the former Miss Emma Jane Howland.  The family's home address was 30 High Street, Saint Runwald, Colchester.

The earliest reference to the family in Devonport was in the 1861 census, when they were living at number 19 Stoke Terrace, and the business, Messrs Graves and Sons, was in Fore Street, Devonport.

He did his apprenticeship as a linen draper's assistant at Messrs William Tarn and Company, where he lived over the premises at 165 to 173 Newington Causeway, a huge department store at the Elephant and Castle that had dozens of apprentices.

Upon his return to Devonport he joined his father's business, Messrs Graves and Sons.  He took over the running of the business when his father died on April 23rd 1899.

Mr Harman John Howland Graves married Miss Emma Jane Walling, daughter of Mr William Henry Walling, of 9 Princes Street, Devonport, at the Anglican Church of Saint Paul the Apostle, Morice Square, Devonport, on February 19th 1880.

Mr Harman John Howland Graves died suddenly at his home, 4 Tamar Terrace, Stoke, Devonport, on November 3rd 1922.

He was well known in Devonport for his municipal, religious and philanthropic work, having helped to found the Devonport Young Men's Christian Association, the Bible Society's Devonport Branch and the Devonport and Western Counties Blind Institution.  He was chosen as Mayor of the Borough in November 1900 and was re-elected, reluctantly on his part, in November 1901 but resigned as both Mayor and Alderman on Thursday November 21st 1901.

The funeral took place at the Plymouth, Stonehouse and Devonport Cemetery on Tuesday November 8th 1922.

He was survived by his daughter, Miss Gracie Gwendoline Graves, and four sons, Doctors Henry and Montague Greaves, both practicing in London, Mr Reginald C Graves, the town clerk of Tottenham Borough Council, and Mr Arthur Graves, assistant solicitor at Brighton Corporation.