Sydney George Draper

Date of birth: 1892
Place of birth: Southampton
Service No.: 353693
Rank: Gunner
Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA)
Battalion: 379th Siege Battery
Died: 4th June 1918 aged 25 years
Death location: France and Flanders


Life before the War
Sydney was the eldest of 5 children born to parents George Arthur and Susan Alice (known as Alice), nee Smyth.  George was born at the turn of 1865 and was baptised 16th February 1865; he died on 17th November 1934 in Southampton’s Royal South Hants Hospital. Alice was born a few short months after George in 1865 and was baptised on the 14th May that year; she died on 20th July 1949.  George and Alice were married in the first quarter of 1891.

George’s probate was registered in Winchester in January 1935.  He left £423 10s 11d to his wife Susan Alice Draper.

When Susan died her probate read:

‘DRAPER Susan Alice of 40 Liverpool-Street Bevois Town Southampton, widow died 20 July 1949. Administration Winchester 25 August to Henry Albert Draper local government officer.  Effects £258 10s. 2d,’

Sydney’s siblings – 1 sister and 3 brothers – were:

Ernest Frederick b.1895.  War casualty – died 31st October 2015.  Please select Ernest’s name and the link will take you to his story.

Henry Albert  born 16th February 1896; died in the autumn of 1979 in Bournemouth.

Ethel Maud  b.1898.  Unable to trace evidence of marriage and think Ethel may have died early 1931.

Cecil Smyth born 10th November 1900; died in the autumn of 1988 in Birkenhead, Cheshire.  Cecil joined the Royal Navy in 1917, his service ended on 19th June 1922.  He may have married Loraine Margaret Killbride in the summer of 1960 in Wallasey, Cheshire.  Loraine was born on 6th January 1898 and died in the winter of 1976 in Birkenhead.

The 1901 census shows the family living at 40 Liverpool Street, Southampton.  George gives his occupation as a Steward at Sea. Alice has no employment / doesn’t work and the children’s ages range from Sydney at 8 years old down to Cecil who is just 5 months.

In the 1911 census the family, all except Henry, were still living at 40 Liverpool Street, Southampton. George is now working as a Cook on a yacht whilst Sydney is a Pawnbroker’s Assistant and Ernest is a Hotel Porter. Henry at this time is working as a ‘Boy’ at the Wilberforce Hotel in Bournemouth and is listed on their census record.


War Service
It has proved difficult to source military information about the RGA.  What our researcher has ascertained is that Sydney enlisted in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, originally in the Territorials.  Sydney died of wounds sustained in action in France.  He is buried in Ebblinghem Military Cemetery, near Hazbrouck, France, Grave 2 D 3.  The inscription on his headstone, given by his father reads:

“In life beloved, in death lamented” 

Sydney’s personal effects were left to his mother Alice.

Sydney was awarded the 1914/15 Star, Victory and British War Medals.


Researcher: Shaun Connolly
Published: 14th October 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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