Draycot, Walter

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Draycot, Walter

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Walter Mackay Langdale Draycot (who sometimes spelled his surname Draycott) was born 24 Feb 1883 in Leicester England. He served with the King's Royal Rifles in South Africa (Boer War) as a Sergeant. He emigrated to Canada in 1907, settling in Fort William, Ontario. He moved to Vancouver in 1911 and then settled in Lynn Valley, British Columbia in 1912. An "Original", he joined the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry as a Private in England in December 1914 as a topographist but was assigned regimental number 883 and sent to France 20 December 1914. He became the regimental barber and map maker. He was Mentioned In Dispatches in Oct 1916 and promoted to Acting Corporal. He was also employed as the topographer for the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade in April 1917 and was in charge of the Brigade Intelligence Department for a short time. He was with the Regiment at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April 1917 and provided the Regiment with detailed maps of the Ridge. He was gassed in May 1917 and Struck Off Strength from the Regiment 16 May 1917. He was discharged from the Canadian Army in November 1918. He returned to Lynn Valley in 1918, and published his first history of that community the following year. He served as Justice of the Peace from 1923 to 1975 and was a school trustee for three years in the 1920s. He was a feature writer for the North Vancouver and Vancouver newspapers on an irregular basis, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, and an occasional contributor to scientific journals. He was employed by the Geological Survey of Canada for various months from 1949 to 1952. In 1972, he opened the first North Shore Museum and Archives building. His second history of the Lynn Valley, "Early Days in the Lynn Valley", was printed in 1978. Walter Draycot died 22 October 1985 at the age of 102. In 1986 a statue of him was unveiled at the opening of Lynn Valley Pioneer Park at the intersection of Lynn Valley Road and Mountain Highway in North Vancouver. In 1999 the Vancouver Branch of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Association erected a plaque in Draycot's honour and the plaque was dedicated by the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lady Patricia Brabourne, Colonel-In-Chief of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.


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