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Paratrooper turned journalist dies aged 78

Hugh Graham

A journalist who once turned down a press officer job because it wouldn’t save his family from the effects of a possible nuclear war has died aged 78.

Hugh Graham’s Fleet Street career saw him rise to the senior ranks of the Daily Sketch, as well as working as a freelance news reporter for the Chichester Observer, in Sussex, in his later life.

A former member of the Parachute Regiment who served with distinction in Cyprus and the Middle East, he developed skills as a
photographer and a writer, serving as a photojournalist for newspapers in the UK, Australia and South Africa.

He eventually worked on the Daily Sketch, but made a decision to leave Fleet Street partially because of its decision to switch from broadsheet to tabloid format.

After a brief period working in marketing he returned to his first love of photojournalism, freelancing for the Observer among other publications.

His son John said: “He also, in a stunning demonstration of love and integrity, turned down the role of communication officer for the local council and the opportunity for a place in the local nuclear bunker at the height of the cold war as his wife and kids were not included.

“He would rather have died with his family.

“Dad was a man of integrity and a lover of tea. He was happy to make time for everyone and had a wicked sense of humour.

“We miss his booming laugh and the twinkle in his eye every day.”

Besides John, Hugh is survived by wife Marjorie, daughter Zoe, and grandchildren Jake, Sammie, Daniel and Callum.

His funeral will be held at noon at St Peter’s Church, Selsey, on Friday.