David Graham, 87, who led the Oxford University students' hugely controversial vote against fighting "for king and country" in the year Adolf Hitler came to power, died Aug. 12. The place and cause of death were not reported.

While a student at Oxford in February 1933, Mr. Graham drafted the pacifist debating motion that "this house will in no circumstances fight for its king and country."

The Oxford Union passed the matter by 275 votes to 173, causing an uproar among conservatives in the British Parliament and the press.

But according to the Daily Telegraph of London, Mr. Graham was not so much a pacifist as an "independent spirit fond of controversy." The Times of London said Mr. Graham primarily wanted to "stimulate a lively evening in the union."

He joined the British Broadcasting Corp. shortly after his graduation from Oxford, and his career there spanned four decades. His first task was to adapt Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" for radio, the Times said.

When World War II broke out, Mr. Graham, eager to use his fluency in German and knowledge of the country to support Britain's war effort, became part of a small BBC team that broadcast to Germany.

After Hitler's defeat, Mr. Graham continued the BBC's reports, which took the lead in criticizing the Russian puppet government in eastern Germany. But Mr. Graham's team also refused to cover up mistakes made by the western nations in their zones, the Daily Telegraph said.

Mr. Graham was born in Bombay, the son of a senior civil servant. Later in life, he returned to India to film features about the upcoming transfer of power from the British to the Indians. Faced with brutal violence, he sent back harrowing stories instead.

During his BBC career, Mr. Graham also worked as the Russian program organizer, in the Arabic Service and as head of the central research unit.

Christopher Cviic, who was hired by Mr. Graham at the BBC, later recalled that Graham once insisted they stroll through Zagreb's cemetery during a visit. "Graham explained, `Cemeteries are the shortest cut to a nation's history,' " Cviic recalled in the Daily Telegraph.

After retiring from the BBC in 1971, Mr. Graham continued to maintain his interest in foreign cultures and languages, along with his support of liberal politics and the Church of England.

His wife, Rosemary, died in 1988. Survivors include two sons and a daughter.