Richard Leithe Dray 85638 Worcester Regiment

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Richard Leithe Dray 85638 Worcester Regiment

Postby assisi » Tue May 01, 2012 6:39 pm


I am currently doing an analysis of the regiments represented in Assisi War Cemetery ( the local people have set up an adopt - a -gravestone scheme) and I am looking for details about Richard Dray, who died on 3 July 1944 and is buried in section IX, row B grave 8.
He intrigues me because I know that the Regiment was all but destroyed at Tobruk and its newly consitituted replacement fought in France in 1944, not in Italy. I have read on this site that after Tobruk he escaped to Egypt. So, is it possible to establish when he came to Italy and to which unit he was attached when he was killed?

Thank you.
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 2:40 pm
Location: Lombardia, Italy

Re: Richard Leithe Dray 85638 Worcester Regiment

Postby scully » Wed May 09, 2012 3:20 pm


Richard Leithe Dray was born in 1919 (I think he was born overseas at Broumana, Lebanon - a British Subject). The Dray family were living in the Middle East before the Second World War and they had property out there.
He was educated in England at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and was commissioned in to the Worcestershire Regiment on the 26th January 1939 with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He joined the 1st Battalion. On the 1st January 1941 he was promoted to rank of Lieutenant. On the 8th April 1941 he was appointed Adjutant of the 1st Battalion and on the 17th June 1941 he was given the rank of Temporary Captain.
He was awarded a Military Cross (London Gazette date 16th April 1942) and a Bar to his Military Cross (London Gazette date 24th September 1942). The bar to his Military Cross was awarded for his extremely gallant conduct throughout the engagement at Point 187, 6 miles south of Acroma on the 14th June 1942.
He escaped capture at Tobruk and returned back to the U.K. where he helped re-establish the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Pinner near Harrow on the 1st January 1943. He later was transferred to another post and ended up in Italy with the rank of Major (I am still trying to find out more information but it is proving difficult). He was killed in action on the 3rd July 1944 during the advance in Northern Italy he was attached to another regiment.
In 1942 his home address was at Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire.

Richard Leithe Dray had a younger brother Rowland Arthur Dray (born 1920 at Broumana, Lebanon) he also served as an officer with the Worcestershire Regiment (commissioned in to the Worcestershire Regiment on the 24th May 1941) and Special Operations Executive and survived the war he left the army in 1952 - he died on the 21st February 2007. There was also a younger sister Dawn Elita Dray (born 1922), I believe she never married and died in Cardiff in November 2004.

The Dray family own properties in the Middle East, but I have no further details.

Hope this is of some help. If I find out any more information about Richard Leithe Dray I will post it here.

If you have a photo of his gravestone could you email a copy to me so I can add it to the website.

Best regards,

Louis (webmaster)
Site Admin
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