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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Walter M Draycott 1883 - 1985.

Draycott was born on February 24th 1883 in Belgrave, County Leicester, England. He attended schools in Derby and Liverpool. From an early age he showed a passion for topography and studied in South Wales under Professors Morgan and Davies. He furthered his topographical skills in the Boer War when serving as a member of the 60th Rifles and Engineers between 1901 and 1904.

As the second son, Draycott would not inherit from his parents. He thus decided to emigrate. Canada was his choice and he decided to settle on the West Coast as he found the milder climate more congenial.
On the outbreak of the 1914-18 War he was back again in England with his old regiment. While waiting to be Commissioned as an officer he was claimed by Colonel Farquar of the Famous Princess Patricia’s on the grounds he was a Canadian Citizen. His exploits have been written in an unpublished typed book. Appointed Military Topographer. Being the only exponent of that art in the Brigade of 4,000 men, he was sought by General Macdonnel for service on the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade. Both the Division and Corps wanted his services, but Macdonnel retained him. Appointed the only Official Sketcher in the Canadian Army with credentials. Thrice wounded. Arrested several times as a spy, when sketching. Twice ‘gassed’; the last dose sent him to England where, after recovering, he conducted a school to teach officers the art of Military Sketching and Topography. After the War, some of his sketches were printed - see his book; it tells all (Early Days in Lynn Valley, 13).ii

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