No.12463, Private, Richard DRAKE
11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Richard Frank Drake was born in Exning in 1897 (Newmarket Q2-1897 3B:507) son of Richard and Emma DRAKE (née SALE).
1901 census...Aged 4, he was at 13 Gwynne Terrace, Exning Road, Newmarket with his father Richard DRAKE  a groom, born Surbiton, Surrey; his mother Emma  born Reigate, Surrey; sister Maggie  and brother George [1 month] both born in Exning. It does appear this is an instance of the Workhouse area being regarded as Exning rather than Newmarket.
1911 census... Aged 14, he was a houseboy, living in Saxon Street with his widowed mother (father died in 1910) sister Maggie and brother George. Sister Violet  was born in Newmarket, brother Willie  and sister Alice  were both born in Saxon Street.
He enlisted in Newmarket
CWGC have him in the 11th Battalion, as does "Soldiers Died" but his medal index card says he arrived in France on 30th July 1915 and was 7th Battalion. The 11th never went to France until 1916. Records are sketchy for both battalions just before Richard's death and of course with his service records not available we cannot find where and when exactly he was wounded. Tincourt, near Peronne, was a centre for Casualty Clearing Stations at the time. Several men from the Newmarket area were wounded during fighting around Malakoff Farm at the end of August 1917 and died later at Tincourt, perhaps Richard was another of them.
photo: Rodney Gibson
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