Sir Graham Balfour 1858 – 1929

Sir Graham Balfour

Sir Graham Balfour was born in Chelsea, London on 2 December 1858 and christened as Thomas Graham Balfour, only son of his parents. His father, also Thomas Graham Balfour, was a Surgeon General and his mother was Georgina Prentice.

Despite suffering ill health, Balfour attended Marlborough College and later, Worcester College Oxford and in 1880 gained a degrees in Classical Moderations. He was also won awards for his rifle shooting.

He became an Inner Temple barrister in 1885. By 1891, after his parents had died, he moved to Vailima, Samoa, to live near his cousin Robert Louis Stevenson.

Stevenson died in 1894, so Balfour returned to England. He married Rhoda Brooke, daughter of Leonard Dobbin Brooke of Birkenhead in 1896 and the couple had two sons.

During the early 1900s, he was general director of education for Staffordshire while the entire education system was being remodelled at central government. The system he put in place was used as an example for to the rest of the country.

In 1901 he wrote ‘The Life of Robert Louis Stevenson’.

He was knighted in 1917, and served in several government posts encouraging education. Balfour died on 26 October 1929 and is buried in Flaybrick Cemetery.