This remembrance day I will be thinking about all the men and women who have served their country and given their lives. But I will also be remembering those that came home and had to live with what they experienced. One man in particular has caught my attention more than most recently, a local lad who's statue stands just around the corner from where I now work. I walk past the statue of Private Job Drain almost every day and a few weeks ago I stopped and read the inscription on the plinth.
Job was born in Barking in 1895 and joined the army in 1912, so when war broke out just two years later he was part of the BEF. He was just 18 years old when he won his VC while as a Driver in the 37th Battery, Royal Field Artillery.
His citation leaves in no doubt this young man's bravery. "On 26 August 1914 at Le Cateau, France, when a captain (Douglas Reynolds) of the same battery was trying to recapture two guns, Driver Drain and another driver (Frederick Luke) volunteered to help and gave great assistance in the eventual saving of one of the guns. At the time they were under heavy artillery and infantry fire from the enemy who were only 100 yards away." [London Gazette, 24th Nov 1924]
He later achieved the rank of Sergeant and unlike so many of his comrades survived the war. He married in 1919 and was part of the honor guard for the Unknown Warrior in 1920. He died on 26 July 1975.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Great post Lee.ReplyDelete
By an amazing coincidence I saw a line drawing of the action at Le Cateau where Driver Drain won his VC at an auctioneers last week! My wife and I had taken something in to be valued for sale, and the framed drawing was leaning against the wall on its end. I spotted it, and mentioned to the auctioneer's assistant what it was. She wrote down the details, and I understand that it will be on sale in January. The auctioneer thinks that the information I gave her will make the drawing more saleable as the mention of the letters VC always attracts a greater interest in a sale.
All the best,
Lest we forget.ReplyDelete