DIVISIONAL UNIT: 2nd Canadian Infantry Division
4th Infantry Brigade
18th Battalion - Western Ontario
Canadian Infantry Corps
AWARDS: Military Medal
SERVICE NO: 654030
RESIDENCE: Clinton – Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: April 21, 1892
Goderich Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: August 28, 1918 26 years 4 months
CEMETERY: Wancourt British Cemetery – Wancourt –
Pas de Calais – France.
II B 10
PARENTS: Mr. Robert and Sarah Draper – Clinton – Ontario
Occupation: Cabinet Maker. Religion: Church of England
Enlistment: Cinton – December 6, 1915 – 161st Huron Battalion.
Enlistment Age: 23 years 7 months.
Following his arrival in England on November 11, 1916 Lance Sergeant Draper transferred to the 18th Battalion in West Sandling - Kent on January 12, 1917 and then went into France and joined his unit in the field.
Sergeant Draper was the recipient of the Military Medal for his brave service to his country. At some point in second half of 1917 was when his action earned him the Military Medal.
Sergeant Draper’s citation reads…..for conspicuuus gallantry and devotion to duty. A patrol was sent out to reconnoitre an enemy position, and if possible establish a post there. The patrol advanced until they came upon the enemy in large numbers, who at once sent out a line of 40 men from shell hole to shell hole and thus surround them. Segeant Draper at one took charge of the direction of fire of his small part, and with his own rifle killed at least three of the enemyand thus checked the enemy line. This afforded time for our artillery fire to be brought down on the enemy position and the patrol was able to withdraw to their own line. Sergeant Draper’s coolness in the midst of the greatest danger, undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades.
Sergeant Draper was killed during military operations in front of Vis-en-Artois during the afternoon of
August 28, 1918.
He received mortal chest wounds in the chest and died a very short while later.
The Battalion diary states the attack was to take place at noon and that the 18th Battalion would be in support of the 21st Battalion. Heavy casualties were taken as they advanced to the slope of the river and then heavy enemy machine gun fire forced a withdraw. Cover was found in a sunken road fronting the German fire and barbed wire.
The Brigade diaries say the weather was fine / warm with the 18th Battalion behind the 21st Battalion as support. The previous two days had been nothing but bitter fighting with the enemy. Now on the morning of the 28th the order was given for the advance to continue. The 4th Brigade was on the left with a front of 700 yards with the left resting on the Arras-Cambrai Road. Shortly following noon, the Brigade advanced supported by artillery. The troops crossed the Sensee River to Olive Trench and Ocean Works. The enemy had good observation and the Battalion took heavy casualties from his machine gun fire, artillery and because his wire was not cut the men were hung up on the wire. Our artillery was again brought down on Olive trench and Cable Trench and then an S.O.S. line was formed along the front. For many hours the men occupied shell holes and then later a line of posts was established well in front of the Senssee River, with the posts taking cover in sunken roads and under banks.
In those three days of fighting the 18th Battalion suffered 310 casualties killed, wounded or missing.