b. 15/10/1895 Barking, Essex. d. 26/07/1975 Barking, Essex.
Job Henry Charles Drain (1895-1975) was born at 16 Parson’s Buildings, Axe Street, Barking, Essex on 15th October 1895. His father, also called Job, served in the ASC during the South African War and First World War. In civilian life, he was a labourer at a chemical works. His mother was Susan nee Stokes, a domestic servant. They had married in Romford in 1894. Job had two brothers and a sister, though tragically, they all died young.
Having been educated at the Church of England School in Barking, he was employed as a factory hand until he enlisted at Stratford, London on 27th August 1912. Within just under two years, he was embarking for France, arriving on 19th August 1914.
On 26th August 1914 at Le Cateau, France, when a captain (Douglas Reynolds) of the same battery was trying to recapture two guns, Driver Drain and another driver (Frederick Luke) volunteered to help and gave great assistance in the eventual saving of one of the guns. At the time they were under heavy artillery and infantry fire from the enemy who were only 100 yards (91 m) away.
All three men were awarded the VC, with Drain’s citation being gazetted on 25th November 1914. Less than a week later, on 1st December 1914, he was presented with his VC by King George V at Lucon, near Bethune, France. Job had no idea that he was being awarded with the VC until a field officer informed him that the King wanted to see him. It was only when he was in the inspection line that he was told that he was receiving the VC.
Job survived the War and was demobilised in 1919 and discharged from the Reserve on 28th August 1924 as a Sergeant. In a ceremony at the municipal buildings and park he was formally welcomed back to Barking with a purse of gold, an illuminated address and a watch. He was a member of the VC Guard at the interment of the Unknown Warrior on 11th November 1920.
At various times, he was employed as a Whitehall messenger, fish porter at Billingsgate, London Transport Board bus driver and by London Electricity Board. He had married in the latter part of 1919 in Poplar to Patricia Cecilia nee Murray. They lived at 42 Greatfields Road, Dagenham, Essex and had two children – Patricia Winifred Drain (b 1920) and Job H G Drain (b 1921).
On 28th October 1929, Job was accused of blocking a tramway at Plaistow with his bus. He claimed he could not pull over due to the way being blocked by cyclists. He was defended by Brett Cloutman VC and the case was dismissed. Job was awarded two guineas costs. On 5th October 1931 during Barking’s Charter Day celebrations, he was presented to Prince George, the future King George VI.
Job died at his home on 26th July 1975 and was buried in Rippleside Cemetery, Barking. In addition to his VC, he was awarded the 1914 Star with Mons clasp, British War Medal 1914-20, Victory Medal 1914-19 with Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf, George VI Coronation Medal of 1937 and Elizabeth II Coronation Medal of 1953. His medals were purchased in a private sale in 2008 by the Ashcroft Trust and are displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM.
BURIAL PLACE: RIPPLESIDE CEMETERY, BARKING, ESSEX.
PLOT U, GRAVE 158
Kevin Brazier – Drain VC’s Grave and Cemetery Plan in Rippleside Cemetery, Barking