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Coleshill Remembers World War 1

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Coleshill, Warwickshire

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Entry for 2nd Lieutenant Harold Drakeford


Surname

Drakeford



Forenames

Harold Arthur

Rank

2nd Lieutenant

Unit/Regiment

8th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

Year of Birth

1892

Date of Death

5/4/1918

Notes

Harold Arthur Drakeford was born in Coleshill in March 1892. The son of Charles, an auctioneer's clerk, and Mary Ann, Second Lieutenant Drakeford lived at 66 High Street and worked as a ‘order clerk merchants office’. He joined the 2nd Birmingham Battalion (15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment) and was later gazetted into the 8th battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. He was killed in action on 5 April 1918, and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France.

It is with regret we have to record the death of Second-Lieutenant H. A. Drakeford, 8th Somerset Light Infantry, who was killed in action in France on April 5th, He was the third son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Drakeford, of High Street, Coleshill, who had their four sons with the Forces. Harold Drakeford, who was 26 years of age, joined the 2nd Birmingham City Battalion in August 1914, and went with his regiment to France in November, 1915. After nineteen months active service he came back in April last year for a course of training as an officer, and as a cadet was stationed at Whittington Barracks. He was able to get home frequently during this period. In December last he was gazetted to the 8th Somerset Light Infantry, and went out on December 27th. The official intimation of his death reached the parents in Friday last, and a letter since received from the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding stated: " He was a most excellent and conscientious officer, and was leading his platoon most gallantly at the time he was killed. He had not been with us very long, but everyone was fond of him." Mrs. Drakeford received a letter a few days ago which was written in the day previous to his death. In it he wrote:" The weather has turned out rotten lately, and it is raining today, which makes things very unpleasant. I can assure you I am tired of wallowing in sloppy mud and it makes everything very miserable. I have managed to stick it so far, and will try and carry on as best as I can, but it requires a lot of grit these days, I can assure you. . . . Please do not worry, for we are all in his hands and cannot be better looked after. We must trust in the same Providence that has so far proved our mainstay in the past. If it is His will that we are to meet again on this earth, well me must bow to it, and must simply live until "On the resurrection morning Father, mother, sister, brother, Meet once more.' It is a hard time for all during this final push of Fritz, but surely if there is a God, as we firmly believe there is, we cannot have any fears as to the future. . . . Rest assured everything that happens is His own plan, and there can be no better." Lieut. Drakeford was engaged, and would have come over on leave shortly to be married. The banns would have been published in Sunday last. At Coleshill Parish Church on Sunday the Vicar referred to the sad loss of Lieut. Drakeford, who took an active role in the C.E.M.S. and Sunday School, besides being a member of the choir. He was secretary to the Coleshill Cricket Club for several seasons, and was wicket keeper in the team, filling the position with much ability, besides being an excellent batsman. His death will be keenly felt by many friends, and much sympathy is expressed for the bereaved parents in their loss. Coleshill Chronicle April 20th, 1918

Coleshill Chronicle 28th April 1917 COLESHILL CRICKET CLUB GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERS A general meeting of Coleshill Cricket Club was held on April 24th, Mr F.W.D. Pinney J.P. presiding. Mr Harold Drakeford, the hon. secretary, having just returned from the front with a view of obtaining his commission, was heartily welcomed at the meeting.

Coleshill Chronicle 17th November 1917 SECOND LIEUTENANT DRAKEFORD Cadet H. A. Drakeford has been gazetted second lieutenant, and attached to a Devonshire Regiment. He is at present on home leave, but will be leaving early next week to join at the regiment’s headquarters. Lieutenant Drakeford is a son of Mr and Mrs Charles Drakeford, of High Street, Coleshill. He joined a Birmingham City Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and has seen considerable active service on the Western front. He came home in May last to train for his commission.

Second Lieutenant Drakeford is also remembered on the Memorial in The Coleshill School.
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