Ernest Albert Draper

39546 Private 1st Essex Regiment (112th Brigade. 37th Division)

Killed In Action on the 23rd August 1918.

(Formerly M/304620 Army Service Corps)

Ernest was the husband of Louisa Draper (nee Leggett) who lived with his in-laws at Admirals Walk, Hoddesdon. At the outbreak of the Great War he enlisted at Broxboune and his trade as Coachman led him into service in the Army Service Corps. He was later transfered into the Essex Regiment and served on the Western Front.

On the 23rd August 1918 the Battalion were positioned in Halifax Trench near the village of Fonquevillers, in the Somme sector. At 3.50am they moved to forward positions near Achiet Le Petit in readiness for an assault on German trenches near the village. As the attack got under way they were met with very heavy enemy artillery, machine gun and rifle fire. This soon held up the assault and support was requested from British Tanks. Only one Tank was available and this was used to quell some of the enemy fire, which it managed to successfully achieve. However, the Battalion had suffered considerable casualties with 4 Officers and 86 Other Ranks either Killed or Missing.

Ernest is buried in the Foncquevillers Military Cemetery, France. 

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