DRAKE, Walter

No.1165, Private, Walter George DRAKE
Aged 22

5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Died of his Wounds on Sunday, 12th September 1915

Walter George Drake was born in Chippenham on 6th July 1892 (Newmarket Q3-1892 3B:534) and baptised in Chippenham on 28th August 1892. Son of Walter and Georgiana DRAKE (nee SPARKES).

1901 census... Aged 8, he was at Queen Square, Chippenham with his widower father, Walter DRAKE [45] a stockman on farm, and his brothers, Cecil T. [20] agricultural labourer and Sidney J [17] a non domestic gardener. All were born in Chippenham. His mother Georgiana had died in 1898 aged 42. There other siblings, a half brother Thomas, sisters Esther J and Alice and a brother Frederick but they have not been found in a census since 1891.

1911 census... Aged 18 he was a horse keeper for a haulage contractor and lodging with the Secker family at 6 Windsor Terrace, Exning.

His father died in 1918.

He enlisted in Newmarket.

The 5th Suffolks, between 5th and 13th September 1915, were holding Hill 60 in Gallipoli. This was a very important view point, overlooking both Turkish and British communication lines and therefore constantly fought over. In addition the troops had to contend with serious illnesses, mainly diphtheria. Shortages of water did not help and all water had to be manhandled, in tins, for 3 miles. If attempted in daylight this resulted in heavy shelling.
Dying of his wounds, it appears his grave was lost in later fighting.

Walter Drake is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, panels 46 & 47

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details