The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Trooper Alexander Draper

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Alexander Windsor Draper

Ancestor's date of birth: 01/01/1868

Ancestor's date of death: 11/02/1901

Cause of Death: Illness most likely enteric fever

Service and Life Before the Boer War: He was born near Nathalia, Victoria. His father Alexander Draper had served in the Crimean War in the 10th Hussars before migrating to Australia. Alexander married in 1898. It is not clear if he was in South Africa at the Start of the War or traveled there to join up

Service Number: 9057

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Australia Place of Enlistment: Capetown, South Africa

Unit: 1st Brabant's Horse

Rank attained in Boer War: TPR, Date Effective: 05/05/1900

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): Did not survive the Boer War.

Murray Page: Not applicable, did not serve in an Australian unit.

Contingent: Not applicable.

Ship: Travelled privately to South Africa

Memorial details: Ballarat War Memorial and Nathalia War Memorial

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Cape Colony, Transvaal, Orange Free State and South Africa 1901 clasps.

Personal Characteristics: A sense of adventure.

Reasons to go and fight: A family tradition of serving the crown.

Details of service in war: He enlisted in 1st Brabant's Horse in Capetown in May 1900. In the advance northwards, and in the operations preparatory to the surrounding of Prinsloo, the corps was very frequently engaged. In the Hammonia district they had an immense amount of difficult scouting, and several times, in the latter half of May and in June 1900, they had encounters with superior forces and rather heavy losses. On 29 June Lieutenant JS Orr was severely wounded, and other casualties were suffered in an action in which the enemy had to be driven across the Zand River. On 3 July Lieutenant and Adjutant AFC Williams was shot through the lung. On the 6 to 8 July at the capture of Bethlehem, on the 16 near Witnek, and on the 23, 24 at Slabbert's Nek, Brabant's Horse were in the forefront and gained distinction, but, as a matter of course, had to pay the price. 'The Times' historian points out that it was some 'adventurous scouts' of Brabant's Horse who, by discovering on the night of the 23 July 1900 a commanding summit to be unoccupied, enabled Clements to seize the ridge at daybreak-the corps being entrusted with this task. The 1st Regiment of the corps, now commanded by Major Henderson, 8th Hussars, accompanied Dalgety to the Reitzburg district, and thence in August across the Vaal in the pursuit of De Wet. In his despatch of 1 September 1900 Lord Roberts said that 'the enemy managed to derail another supply train south of Klip River (Johannesburg district) early this morning. Two men were killed, 1 wounded, and 35 taken prisoners. The engine was blown up, and thirteen trucks were burned. A party of Brabant's Horse on duty at Klip River Bridge followed the enemy as soon as the report of the accident reached them, drove them into the neighbouring hills, and recovered all the prisoners.' Trooper Draper suffered a disease - probably enteric fever and died at Woodstock, Cape Colony, February 1901

Service and life after the Boer War: Did not survive the Boer War.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Janet Bagnall, Mosman NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Great Niece


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields