Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

In 1881 George Drackett, the father of Frederick Alexander, was a Private in the Pertshire Regiment of Foot stationed at Clarence Barracks in Portsmouth. It may well have been his first visit to the Borough, but something persuaded him to leave the army and stay. That something was probably Portsmouth born Ellen Millican whom he married in 1883.
George had been born at Colney, Hertfordshire in 1850 whilst Ellen was the daughter of Robert and Eliza Millican and had been born in 1862. They were first recorded as a couple at the 1891 census when they were living at 236 Newcombe Road with their children George (b. 1885), Ellen (b. 1886), Albert (b. 1888) and Ethel (b. 1891). As the three elder children were all born in Scotland it is plain that George and Ellen lived there between 1885 and 1891 when they returned to Portsmouth.
By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to 32 Brookfield Road, Fratton which was part of a new housing estate begun in 1887. With them were a further three children, John (b. 1893), Frederick Alexander (b. 1895) and Beatrice (b. 1897). The family moved again, to 66 Adames Road, another house on the same estate in time for the 1911 census when Frederick was working as a Pawn Broker's Assistant.
Shortrly after the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914 a call went out across Portsmouth for young men to sign up for the new 1st Battalion of the Portsmouth Regiment which later became the 14th Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment. One of those to respond was Frederick Drackett but he was not to see action for some time as the Battalion did not depart for France until March 1916. Once there they took part in the Battles of the Somme and the Third Battle of Ypres but Frederick did not live long enough to see the end of 1917 as he died in October that year.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list FA Drackett, Private (15497), 14th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, died 16/10/1917. Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery (Grave Ref: XXX.D.12.). Son of George Drackett, of 10, Maitland St., Portsmouth.
Frederick Drackett is commemorated on the Cenotaph, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth. He is not listed in "The National Roll of the Great War", Section X.
Tim Backhouse
January 2015