Walter Draycott’s Great War Chronicle
North Vancouver Museum & Archives
Rob Williams says
May 8, 2017 at 12:19 pm
From time to time I see notes posted like this ” Excerpt from Draycott’s memoir “Pawn No. 883”. and wonder where I can locate Walter’s memoirs. Also, what is meant by Pawn No. 883 ?
Janet Turner says
May 30, 2017 at 4:34 pm
883 was Walter Draycott’s regimental number. The memoire, written some 30 years later, reflects some resentment about aspects of Walter’s experience with officers, and with the fact that he received no medal for his service. And so, he refers to himself as a ‘pawn’ in the Great War. The memoire was never published, although he made several efforts to get the PPCLI to publish it. We have his manuscript at the North Vancouver Museum and Archives, and can make it available to our researchers in the reading room.
April 5, 2017 at 5:36 am
As April 2017 marks the 1h anniversary of the First World War s Battle of Vimy Ridge ; it is timely to explore Lynn Valley pioneer Walter Draycott s experiences there.
March 24, 2017 at 3:03 pm
Hi Rob; I’m glad to hear these links are useful – thanks are due to an excellent volunteer who sourced lots of interesting material.
March 18, 2017 at 10:55 am
Thanks to NVMA staff Janet Turner for including links to other interesting sources in some of the daily postings.
February 15, 2017 at 9:02 am
The February 15, 2017 comment about the rum ration starting in 1914 in the army was interesting. The Royal Navy issued rum daily to their sailors going back to at least the early 1700’s consisting of one ‘tot’ as they called it per day. This continued into modern times and was followed by other navies as well. The common complaint was that the rum was watered so the officers could keep more. Sailors would save their ‘tot’ and get drunk when they had enough which was foolish and punishable if caught.
January 15, 2017 at 10:34 am
Reading Walter’s entry for Jan 15, 2016 I was surprised by is remark about ‘Bully Beef’ and the NVMA comments about corned beef from Argentina.
When my Dad was in WWII during the Italian campaign he mentioned they lived on canned corned beef and detested it. He said by the time trucks got to them with meat it was rotten – he said they did not have refrigerated trucks as the US Army did. They relied on trading with Italian civilians if possible.
He said he got jaundice as a result of eating too much corned beef and had to go to the hospital in Rome for treatment. I don’t think that could be true but that’s what he thought. He rejoined his unit which was then near Ortona, a very famous battle area where the Cdn 1st Div pushed out and defeated a greater German force comprised mainly of elite paratroopers.
I think Walter would have been amazed at the change in warfare from his day to the 40’s looking at the territory covered and speed armies moved in WWII. No static trench warfare as he knew. I guess that’s how we came to use what is a common word today – ‘entrenched’.
November 3, 2016 at 9:44 am
I’ve been following Walter’s diary for some time and been disappointed when days are missing, meaning not entered by NVMA staff. Trying to help out I sent an email, later called by phone and left a message and then visited the museum office on the morning of Sept 27th. I left a note of the missing days with the receptionist complete with my name and email. To date nothing has happened.
The days not entered are –
Sept 8, 9, 10
and after Sept 27th, Oct 17, 18, 19
Normally if Walter has missed a day, staff make a notation of ‘No Entry’ but this is not the case here. Would someone please answer and/or provide a correction. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Daien Ide says
November 12, 2016 at 10:15 am
Thank you for your comment, Rob. Those are in fact days that Walter had no entries. I will see if a notation for those days can be added.
November 12, 2016 at 1:50 pm
Thank you – those days should not be left without a note as in previous.
Nicola Folkes says
September 14, 2016 at 10:01 pm
Just found this post and thought there might be some connection to my mother Janet Folkes (nee Draycott). She was born in Middlesex but lives in Tsawwassen now. She had two sister, Josephine and Jennifer. I remember her visiting Walter Draycott in North Van when I was younger.
Her father was George Douglas Draycott.
looking forward to hearing from you!
Janet Cunningham says
November 30, 2016 at 3:41 am
Just spotted your post and I’m interested in finding out how we maybe related. My maiden name was Janet Draycott and Walter was my great uncle ( his brother Charles being my grandfather).
You have said your grandfather was George Draycott- do you know what year he was born, where he was born, and how he was related to Walter? There are a few Georges on the family tree so if you could give me a bit more information about your grandfather, I may be able to find him.
January 30, 2016 at 11:38 am
Strange that the entry for Jan 30/16 has Walter writing his street address as Draycot Road. While his relatives seem to spell the surname with one t, Walter didn’t and he knew his Road was spelled Draycott. Is this a typo?
January 19, 2017 at 10:29 am
Sorry for the late reply. Draycott was inconsistent himself. He used to spell his name with one t in the very early days and eventually settled on two t’s.
September 1, 2015 at 9:25 am
Could I get a copy of your family history pdf as well? My email is email@example.com
By the way, the spelling of your name Lynda is not a common one, at least here in Canada. My wife’s name is Lynda too and she is constantly telling people ‘Lynda with a Y’. Likewise my nickname is Rob (Robert) but many people insist on calling me Robin or even worse – Bob. I was called Robbie when a young boy which is common in England and still am by my mother and siblings and a few old friends.
June 15, 2015 at 3:29 pm
I forgot to ask the previous commenters if they were aware that Walter had spelled his name with one t as in Draycot when he first came to Vancouver. What spelling did the family use in England?
Janet Cunningham nee Draycott says
July 12, 2015 at 1:56 pm
It was nice to read your comments about my great uncle Walter. The family in England always spelled Draycott with the double t. I am unsure why Walter only ever used one t. If memory serves me right, my Grandpa (Walter’s youngest brother) said Walter thought the second t was superfluous!
I have seen the family tree that Walter compiled and originally the family came over from France in the 11th century with the name of De Draycote which obviously changed over the centuries into Draycott.
August 17, 2015 at 5:36 pm
Thanks for the info Janet. Another thing, while the voice audio reading of some diary entries is very nice, by the time I met Walter in 1961 his British accent was quite soft or not as noticeable. Hard to describe what I mean but I guess over the decades his verbal manner had taken on a ‘Canadian’ aspect although his accent had not disappeared.
Do you know why he never married? He certainly was a ladies man.
Lynda Curley says
August 24, 2015 at 7:11 am
I was delighted to read your comments about Walter and I am afraid I have no idea why he never married, despite being popular. As to the spelling of his name I can’t add anything further, other than the origin of it. The family originated from Calvados in Normandy, France and were called Malbanc.. William Malbanc came over to England in 1068 with Hugh d’ Avranches (nephew of William the Conqueror) to subdue the Welsh people. William was rewarded with manors and lands in the County Palatine of Chester and became the 1st baron of Wich Malbanc under the Earl of Chester (Hugh d’ Avranches). It was the great grandson of William who created the Draycott name. He had been granted lands in a place called Draycott in Staffordshire and took the name Hugh de Draycott, which literally means Hugh of Draycott., sometimes spelt Draycote.
August 25, 2015 at 3:45 am
If you would still like a copy of the pdf please let me know, unfortunately I don’t have your email address. My email is above if that is of any help.
Simon Hollingworth says
October 5, 2016 at 4:52 am
I am also a relative of Walter MacKay Draycott through his great great grandmother Mary Hollingworth and George Draycott from Dale Abbey. My line comes from John Draycott and Elizabeth Bailey. We also lived at his ancestral home of Stanley Grange in Dale Abbey.
What you may not be aware, is that Walter and I also descend from Marcus de Draycott and his wife (unknown Hollingworth) the Lord of Loscoe in the 1530. We have a detailed family tree detailing the descent of the Malbons, Draycotts of Loscoe and Draycotts of Painsley Hall from the Norman family of De Maubenc from Le Benny Bocage in France.
I would love to make contact Janet.
November 26, 2016 at 3:57 pm
We have now completed a comprehensive pedigree that shows all the known living descendants of Baron William Malbanc. This tree includes the various Draycott scions, including Walter’s family tree, along with his ancestral cousins, the Malbons, Cornwalls, Vernons and the late Queen Mother. This tree has been a joint project between the Draycott, Malbon and Hollingworth families. If anyone is interested in a PDF showing the entire family from 910AD to the present day, please feel free to make a post here.
Simon Hollingworth of the Draycotts, lords of Loscoe, Derbyshire
November 30, 2016 at 4:37 am
Sorry for the delay in replying but I have only just noticed your post today.
I have looked on the family tree that we have, which was actually done by Walter Mackay Draycott and is incredilbly detailed , and I have found John Draycott and Elizabeth Bailey . Unfortunately after that it ony mentions their two sons Thomas and William, circa 1792.
I aleady knew that our line descends through Marcus de Draycote of Loscoe. His son was Henry Draycott, High Constable for Co. Derby. It is through his sons, John and Anthony, that you and I descend, therefore making us distantly related .
Our tree goes back as far as 1066 to Ansculf de Picquigny of Dudley castle who originated from Pecquigny a town on the somme near Amiens.
I would love to hear from you . Please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
November 30, 2016 at 6:26 am
Simon, according to Walter’s tree Marcus of Loscoe married Ann, daughter of John Dethick of Breadsall Co.Derby.
Hope that is of some help
June 15, 2015 at 9:17 am
Tuesday June 22 is out of order in the Diary.
I enjoy reading about Walter and bought his book The Early Days of Lynn Valley. I grew up in LV having moved there in 1955. Many of the old buildings were still there as well as Fromme’s garage across the street from the LV Elementary Annex.
I delivered the Province newspaper to Walter in 1961 and 2 and when I went to collect for the month (which was the norm in those days) Walter always invited me in to his original 1912 house on Draycott Road. Not a show home by any means and he saved the newspapers which he stacked against one wall of the living room. You could tell the house had been electrically wired after construction with all wiring on the surface of the walls and light bulbs hanging down from the ceiling on wires. I did not see a television, at least not in the living room. He was an old man in 1961 but he was still sharp mentally. I got the feeling he was lonely and I always regretted in later years not being more sympathetic and staying for awhile to keep him company. He had lots of stories and I liked him very well. I have wondered many times why he never married. He knew so many people and met many single ladies as we’ve read in his diary. I’ve stopped to view the statue of him sitting on a bench in LV Centre as we called the crossroads of LV Road and Mountain Highway.
June 22, 2015 at 10:47 am
Thank you! We corrected it.
January 6, 2015 at 3:35 am
Thanks for your reply. I would be happy if you could send me the pdf as I ‘m really interested in finding out more about the Draycott family.
My grandpa, Charles, was orphaned around the age of 4-6 years old and was put into an orphanage but your great grandfather William took him out to live with him and his family. I know from the 1911 census that Charles aged 14 was living with William, Margaret and their family William and Kitty in Woolton. I did actually meet Kitty when I was a nurse at Myrtle Street Childrens Hosp.
I am following the daily dairy entries of Walter with interest. They are bringing the person, of whom i have heard a lot, to life however the entries are becoming difficult to read as you realise the hardships those poor young men had to endure.
April 13, 2015 at 3:54 pm
Please get in touch, my email address is email@example.com
October 22, 2014 at 11:35 am
I just wanted to let you know how wonderful I think your Walter Draycott’s War Chronicle is. Walter was my great great uncle, his brother William was my great grandfather. I am currently writing a short fiction story based on fact about Walter and his life. I have also written a book about the history of the Draycott’s from 1068 called ‘From Normandy to Formby’, which I gave to my father for his 77th birthday. I am very proud of Walter’s achievements, as is my Father and we are sad that we never had the opportunity to meet him, so thank you very much for putting this part of his life onto your website.
With best wishes,
November 17, 2014 at 11:18 am
I was thrilled to find this wonderful website and also a comment from a relative of Walters, as I too am related.
Walter was my great uncle, his brother Charles being my paternal grandfather. I am extremely proud of Walter’s achievements during his long lifetime and I am finding his daily diary entries fascinating. My only regret is that I never had the oppurtunity to meet him and I hope one day to visit Lynn Valley and sit on the bench next to Walter’s statue.
In one of the diary entries, Walter mentions his sister Martha who, as far as I know, also lived in Canada but that is all the knowledge I have of her. I would be interested to find out if there any relatives still living there.
Janet Cunningham nee Draycott
November 17, 2014 at 12:28 pm
Lynda, I would be interested to read your book of the Draycott’s from 1068 . Could you tell me where I could get a copy?
December 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm
I guess we are several cousins removed if you are the grand daughter of Charles and I am the great grand daughter of his brother William. In answer to your question regarding the book, I am afraid I only wrote it for my Dad and have not had it published for general publication, partly because it has personal information in. However I could send you a copy of the pdf if you are interested, just let me know.
With best wishes,
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