Poppy Raymond DREW (1883–1916) Poppy

Raymond Drew

Raymond Drew was born in Eton, Berkshire on 30 October 1883, the son of Frederick Drew (born in Southampton in c.1836) and Sara Constance Waylen (born in Islington, registered in first quarter of 1847). His parents were married in Hampstead in the third quarter of 1875 and had four children:

  • Mabel Drew (born in Eton in 1877, registered second quarter)
  • Frederic Henry Drew (born in Eton, registered first quarter of 1880)
  • Helen Drew (born in Eton in 1881, registered fourth quarter)
  • Raymond Drew (born in Eton on 30 October 1883).

Raymond’s father Frederick Drew was a science master at Eton College. At the time of the 1881 census his parents were living at High Street, Eton with their first two children and two servants; by the time of the 1891 census, they were at Keates Lane, Eton with their four children (including Raymond, a schoolboy of 7) and five servants (a cook, parlourmaid, housemaid, kitchen maid, boys’ maid, and a nurse).

Raymond's father died in the Christchurch district of Hampshire at the age of 55 near the end of 1891. His widowed mother moved to Oxford, and was living at 19 Farndon Road in St Margaret’s parish by 1897.


Raymond started Oxford Boys' High School in George Street in January 1892 at the same time as his older brother Frederick, but he left in July 1893 to attend the Oxford Preparatory School (Dragon).

He won the Second Classical Scholarship at Rossall School in Fleetwood, Lancashire and went to board there in 1897.


At the time of the 1901 census Raymond’s mother was living at 19 Farndon Road with her daughter Helen, plus a 13-year-old boarder and just one servant. Raymond (17) was then boarding at Rossall School.

In 1902 Raymond went up to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he rowed in the college eight for three years. In 1906 he joined a teak rubber firm, the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, but came back from Burma to Oxford and kept the Easter Term of 1907. He did not, however take his degree, having one group to pass.

In 1911 Raymond’s mother was still at Farndon Road, this time with her daughter Mabel and her son Frederick (described as a Church of England missionary in Melanesia), plus one servant. Raymond (27) was probably abroad at this time, as when war broke out he was back in Burma with the same trading corporation. He returned to England to enlist almost as soon as the First World War commenced.

Raymond Drew's grave

Poppy Raymond Drew began his war service in September 1914 and joined the 22nd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers as a Private (Service No. 543). He soon rose to Serjeant, and was killed in action at Vimy Ridge in France at the age of 32 on the night of 23/24 May 1916 and was buried in the Zouave Valley Cemetery, Souchez (II.B.17).


Left: Photograph of Raymond Drew’s grave in France. The text reads:

[Emblem of the Royal Fusiliers:
A rose surrounded by garter inscribed

24TH MAY 1916. AGE 32


This is one of the 40% of war graves that bears a personal message at the end (for which the family had to pay 3½d per letter).

Raymond Drew on school plaque

Drew is remembered on the war memorial at the Dragon School; on a plaque in the Old Boys’ High School, George Street (right); on the war memorial outside St Margaret’s Church in north Oxford; and on a wooden plaque inside Pembroke College Chapel (below).

Raymond Drew in Pembroke Chapel

Administration was granted in London to the Public Trustee on 6 October 1916. He left £1,657 6s. 8d.

His obituary in the Oxford Chronicle of 2 June 1916 is shown below:

Obituary of Raymond Drew

St Margaret's Church War Memorial

After the War

Raymond’s widowed mother
  • Mrs Sarah Constance Drew continued to live at 19 Farndon Road until after 1929.
Raymond’s sister
  • A Miss Drew, presumably one of Raymond’s sisters, continued to live at 19 Farndon Road from 1930 to 1954.

See also

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