DRANE, Percy

No.13233, Private, Percy DRANE
Aged 19

10th Battalion, Essex Regiment
Killed in Action on Sunday, 9th April 1916

Percy Drane was born in Stoke by Clare on 30th March 1897 (Risbridge Q2-1897), baptised in St John the Baptist, Stoke by Clare on 27th May 1897, son of Jesse and Charlotte DRANE (née WARREN).
He was admitted to Stoke by Clare National/Voluntary School in March 1900 and left on March 29th 1911 on reaching the age of 14.

1901 census...Aged 4, he was at Upper Green, Stoke by Clare with his father Albert Jesse DRANE [35] railway platelayer; his mother Charlotte [33] born Birdbrook; sister Agatha E [13] born Birdbrook; brothers Alfred J [9] and Harry A [6]. All except his other and sister were born in Stoke by Clare. Also there was his cousin Percy O.H.DRANE [7 months] born Wixoe.

1911 census...Aged 14, he was at Station Row, Stoke by Clare with his parents (both now recorded as born at Baythorne End); brothers Alfred Jess (farm labourer) and Harry Abraham (apprentice harness maker) and sister Dorothy Ivy [9] born Stoke by Clare.

He enlisted in Haverhill.
The most Easterly part of the line in that area, before the battle of the Somme. Battalion war diary for 9th April:
Z2 sub sector. All quiet during day, 2 officers and 4 NCO returned form Grenade School
Work in Trenches, great deal to be done in improvements. "Arrow Heads" in Main Avenue and Mersea Street started
7:40 pm Enemy's heavy transport heard between Montauban and Briquetterie.
9.45 pm enemy train heard at Montauban.
2/lt Wearne and two men went out on patrol to inspect enemy's wire.Nothing unusual to be seen.
Three wiring parties 1..in front of A16/1 and in front of SQUARE, 50 yards done, 2..in front of A16/2, A16/3 and A16/4 110 yards done, 3..in front of Mersea St 85 yards done
Pte DRANE killed while wiring in front of SQUARE

Percy's was their only death that day

Originally he was buried in 1:B:4 in Maricourt Military cemetery but in 1915 the 260 British there were moved to Cerisy-Gailly. There were three cemeteries at one time in Maricourt but only the Peronne Road Cemetery was retained.The site of Percy's original cemetery can clearly be seen from the air at certain times of the year, as below

photo: Rodney Gibson

Percy Drane is buried in Cerisy-Gailly Military Cemetery, grave 2:D:10

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

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