Kenneth Grahame


Kenneth Grahame

Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland
Death 6 Jul 1932 (aged 73)
Pangbourne, West Berkshire Unitary Authority, Berkshire, England
Burial Holywell, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Plot Southwest corner of churchyard near the wooden gate
Memorial ID 7697 View Source
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Author. Remembered for his children's classic, "The Wind in the Willows" (1908). Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, he was the third child of a lawyer from an old Scottish family. His father was an alcoholic, and when his mother died of scarlet fever, the children were raised by their maternal grandparents in the village of Cookham Dene, which later proved to be the setting of "The Wind in the Willows." After being educated at St. Edward's School in Oxford, Grahame began his career as a clerk for the Bank of England. He had wanted to attend Oxford University, but his grandparents could not afford it. To supplement his income, he began to write short stories for publication in various reading magazines, with his first stories about a group of orphaned children published in 1893. Many of his stories centered on a fictional family with five children whose adventures he had based upon his own childhood. His most famous short story, "The Reluctant Dragon" was published in 1898. Grahame was promoted to Bank Secretary, and in 1899 he married Elsbeth Thomson. Grahame wrote his famous classic, "The Wind in the Willows" in part as a series of letters to his only child, Alistair, finally combining the letters with more writings into a book in 1908. That same year, he retired from his bank work due to illness. His marriage had been an unhappy one, and when his only child committed suicide in 1918 while studying for his undergraduate degree at Oxford University, he stopped writing altogether. "The Wind in the Willows" was not an immediate success, but when playwright and author A. A. Milne (author of "Winnie the Pooh" fame) rewrote it for the stage as "Toad of Toad Hall" in 1930, it became very popular. Following Alistair's death, Grahame and his wife would spend long periods in Italy avoiding family and friends. He died at his home in Pangbourne, England, on July 6, 1932.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

Family Members



(East side:)
was laid to rest
on his 20th. birthday
12th. May 1920
only child of
Kenneth & Elspeth
of whose noble ideals
steadfast purposes
and rare promise
remains only
a loved & honoured

And in 1932
his father
Kenneth Grahame

(West side:)
the beautiful memory
Kenneth Grahame
husband of Elspeth
father of Alistair
who passed the river
on the 6th. of July 1932
childhood & literature
through him
the more blest
for all time

And of his son
Alistair Grahame
Commoner of Christ Church


In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 14 Dec 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 7697
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Kenneth Grahame (8 Mar 1859–6 Jul 1932), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7697, citing St. Cross Churchyard, Holywell, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .