Birmingham, Birmingham Police Force, David Davies, Evan Davies, France, Germany, Henry Davies, India, John Davies, Lowe Street, Mesopotamia, Midland Counties Express, Police, prisoner of war, Rifle Brigade, Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Field Artillery, South Staffordshire Regiment, St John's Ambulance Association, Thomas Davies, Wales, Whitmore Reans
The Midland Counties Express dated 11 September 1915 talks of a “fine example of patriotism” as five sons of Mr and Mrs Davies of 65 Lowe Street, Whitmore Reans, were serving with the Army:
- David (right), aged 22, a Lance-Corporal in the Royal Army Medical Corps, who joined in Wolverhampton at the outbreak of war, and had previously been a member of the St John Ambulance Association.
- Thomas (middle), aged 24, was a Bombardier in the 14th Battery Royal Field Artillery. He had served for 6 years in the Army, four years in India and then in France.
- Evan (left), aged 27, was an acting Corporal in the 15th Battalion Rifle Brigade. He had formerly been a constable in the Birmingham Police Force. He had enlisted three months earlier and was serving in France.
- Jack (bottom), aged 20, was a private in the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. He had been in the Army for 3 years, serving in South Africa, but had been a prisoner of war in Germany since October.
- Harry (top), aged 18, was a gunner in the 4th Staffordshire Battery of the Royal Field Artillery, and was currently in training at home.
These were the children of Daniel and Rosamond Davies, living at 112 Lowe Street in 1901 – the children are listed as Evan, Thomas, David, John, Henry and Elizabeth. They were all born in Carmarthenshire, in Wales. The family were living at 65 Lowe Street in 1911, and the children still at home were David, John, Henry, Elizabeth Ann, Joseph and Benjamin Disraeli. David was an Issuer and John was a Messenger, both working for the railway.
David was born in around 1893, but I have not been able to confirm further details about his life or military service.
Thomas was born in about 1890. He enlisted in the 66th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery (number 58684) in Birmingham on 2 September 1909, when his trade was given as engine cleaner. He became a Serjeant. He was wounded in action on 23 April 1916, receiving a bullet wound to the head. He recovered but was wounded in action again on 4 February 1917, receiving a gun shot wound to the shoulder, and was invalided to India. Again he recovered, but was killed in action in Mesopotamia on 5 November 1917. He is commemorated on the Basra Memorial.
Evan was born in around 1889. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade (number 10652 or 3) on 6 May 1915, when his address was given as Kenyon Street Police Station, Birmingham. He served in France, rising to the rank of Lance Corporal. He was listed as missing on or since 21 March 1918, and it was later accepted that he had died on that date. He is commemorated at the Chauny Communal Cemetery British Extension.
John (known as “Jack”) was born in around 1895. I have not been able to confirm further details of his military service, or find his prisoner of war records.
Henry (otherwise “Harry”), was born in around 1898. He enlisted as a Gunner in the “B” Battery, 186th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (number 687002) at Wolverhampton, but was killed in action in France on 13 October 1918. He is commemorated at the Naves Communal Cemetery Extension.