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Lance Corporal Jabez William Draper

Reg. No. 17782 (6th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment)

Killed in Action: 21 May 1917

Buried: Tank Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France nr Grave A.44.


Jabez William Draper (1894-1917)

William was born in Wilden in 1894, the son of Fred (1871-1958) and Louisa Elizabeth Infield (1864-1927). His parents were married on 3 April 1893 at Colmworth Church and he was the eldest of three children, the others being Bertha Daisy and George. In 1901, the family was living in Great Barford, where Fred was a horse keeper and (Louisa) Eliza was a dressmaker, living by her 'own accord'. The family had moved to Thurleigh by the time of the 1911 census, living at Romp Hall Cottage, Milton Road. Both William and his father were employed as Farm Labourers.

William enlisted with his regiment in Bedford and was killed in action on 21 May 1917. He is buried in the Tank Cemetery, Guemappe, which was captured by Commonwealth troops on 23 and 24 April 1917, twelve days after Wancourt. The village was lost on 23 March 1918 and retaken by the Canadian Corps on the following 26 August.

The Tank Cemetery was begun by fighting units in April 1917 and used by fighting units and field ambulances until June. It was damaged by shell-fire in 1918.

The cemetery contains 219 burials and commemorations of the First World War.


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