Image courtesy of Dean.


Born: 4th June 1881, Dover, Kent.

Died: 28th June 1916; age 35; Died of Pyrexia/Heat Stroke at Mesopotamia.


Religion: CofE.


Rank: 1st Class Stoker, Service Number: Ch/292393(R.F.R.Ch.B.7741).

Regiment: Royal Navy, H.M.S. ‘Proserpine’.


Grave Reference:


Makina Masul New Extension Cemetery,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of John Henry Dray, of Maple Cottage, Shepherdswell, Dover; husband of Alice Rose Dray, of 90, Woodhouse Street, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.




1891   Botolph Street, Sibertswold, Kent.


Edward was 9 years old and living with his father, siblings & stepmother.

John Henry Dray, 52, an Agricultural Labourer, born Hawkinge, Kent.

Fanny Dray (nee Burton), 49, born Nonington, Kent.

Fanny Dray, 10, born Alkham, Kent.

Rose May Dray, 10, born Alkham.


1901   Malta.


Edward was 19 years old, a Stoker, on board the Royal Navy H.M.S. ‘Illustrious’


1911   Gibraltar.


Edward was 29 years old, married and a Stoker on board ‘Implacable’ a battleship and part of the Atlantic Fleet.


In 1911 Edward’s wife & children were living with his in-laws at 82, Woodhouse Street, Ipswich.

James Bendall, 53.

Martha Bendall, 51.

Arthur Bendall, 16.

Alice Dray, 25.

Alice Dray, 4.

Edward Dray, 3.

Grace Dray, 1.


On the 5th October 1906, Ipswich, Edward married Alice Rose Eugene Bendall, born Christmas Eve, 1885, Ipswich.

They had 6 children:

Alice Rose E. Dray, January 1907, Ipswich.

Edward James Dray, May 1908, Ipswich.

Grace Lily Dray, February 1910, Ipswich.

Arthur Frederick Dray, January 1912, Ipswich.

Patricia Beatrice Dray, September 1913, Eastry, Kent.

Kathleen D. Dray, February 1915, Elham, Kent.

The Dray family later resided at 49, Marshall Street, Folkstone, Kent.


Edward’s mother was Sarah Dray (nee Prescott), born 1884, Swingfield, Kent – died 1886, Dover, Kent.

Edward’s stepmother, Fanny Dray, died 1914, Dover, Kent.

Edward’s father John Henry Dray died December 1917, Dover, Kent.



H.M.S. ‘Proserpine’

HMS Proserpine was a light cruiser sent to Egypt in 1914. Bound for Basra she travelled down the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, then sailed onto the Persian Sea to Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq. The ships role was to escort and protect shipping from the threat of Turkish and German attacks on the sea and waterways on the Persian Sea. Temperatures in the summer months could exceed 40+ degrees, with a high risk of waterborne diseases, on the day Edward died there were 72 crewmembers recorded on the ships sick list.

Ships log:

28th June 1916

Lat 30.4, Long 48.2
1.35pm: Edward James Dray, stoker departed this life, heat stroke

4.0pm: HMS FLYCATCHER arrived

4.30pm: HMS MOTH made fast alongside

5.5pm: HMS MOTH sailed

Number on sick list = 72

One Comment

  • I played with Edward Dray, who would have been same age as me, therefore born in 1941. We both lived in Ipswich, and went to St.Matthews Primary school. He lived in Burlington Road, Ipswich. I met his mother who lived at the same address, but I do not know her forname.
    I do not know anything else about Edward.


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