Graham was the eldest son of Maurice Edward Ling and his wife Mary Constance Blaine. His father was a physician and the family lived at 5 West Halkin Street, London W. [His number is shown in the 1903 Telephone Directory.] He died on 1 February 1905 at the age of 49, leaving his widow with three small boys and £1,296-0-5.

Graham was educated at Repton where he was a cadet in the Junior Division of the OTC. He Matriculated in 1924. It appears that he remained only one year. [His brother Kenneth Edward had Matriculated the previous year and came up to Christ Church graduating in 1926.] 

In the summer of 1925, he married Evelyn Tanner at Abingdon. They had two sons and lived at Ashe Ingen Court, Bridstow, Ross-on-Wye where he farmed.

On 23 October 1939, he was granted an Emergency Commission with the rank of 2nd Lt in the Royal Armoured Corps. The War Diary of the 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars to which he was attached, announced that he had reported for duty at Ilfracombe on that day.

In the autumn of 1941, the 2nd Royal Gloucesters were taking part in the North Africa Campaign. Their War Diary states,

Late in November, near Bir El Gubi [Libya], the Regiment saw its first action. It was outnumbered 6 to 1 and was forced to withdraw. During the action 2nd Lieutenant Gordon-Creed's tank had a track shot off. Continuing to drive in a circle, his gunner and wireless operator injured, they knocked out 2 Italian tanks before bailing out. After being treated by the M.O. they returned to the tank, under fire, made repairs at night and drove it out the next morning. He was awarded the Military Cross.

Another tank was hit and the driver killed, unable to remove his body, Trooper Furnivall squeezed into the seat on top of the dead man and drove the tank to safety. He was awarded the Military Medal. In all 30 tanks were lost, of these 10 were recovered the next day. On the 29th November 1941 the RGH were ordered back to refit.
For actions during this time, Sergt C. E. Jeffes was awarded the Military Medal, along with Trooper L.J.Huxford. The M.C. was awarded to Captain M.G. Ling and the D.S.O. to Major W.A.B.Trevor.

On December 29th the Brigade moved NW to Chor el Chisma and remained static all day
December 30th 0830 - German tanks attacked from South. Number of enemy tanks estimated to be 60.
0845 - H Sqn rejoined Regt and refuelled. 2 RGH faced South on left of £ & $ CLY. (RGH 36 tanks, 3 CLY 8 tanks, 4 CLY 15 tanks).
Bde held 3 successive positions withdrawing NE to cover B Echelon and supporting artillery.
1100 - At third position X2918 enemy tanks withdrew. 22 Armd Bde leaguered at X3957.

Four members of the Brigade were killed, six were wounded and four were missing including Graham.

The posthumous award of the Military Cross was announced on 20 January 1942.

On 12 February 1942, an announcement in The Times said,” Reported missing in Libya in December 1941 Capt. M Graham Ling M.C. RAC Yeomanry. Any information gratefully received. Mrs Ling, Ashe Ingen Court, Ross-on-Wye.”

On 21 January 1943, from The Times “ Missing in Libya since December 1941, now presumed killed in action Major M.G. Ling M.C.  Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, eldest son of the late Dr M.E. Ling. M.D. and Mrs Ling of Harrogate and husband of Evelyn, Ashe Ingen Court. Please no letters.”

His name is on the Alamein Memorial, Column 32 and he is commemorated on the war memorial at St Bridget’s Church, Bridstow, Ross-on-Wye.

His wife died in 1973.