Benjamin William DAVIS

Benjamin William DAVIS

Per his military service record (2320), Benjamin William Davis was born at Sydney, N.S.W.[1]  He gave his age as 18 years and 2 months (although it appears he was only about 16 ½ years of age at the time), his marital status as single, and his occupation as greengrocer.[2] His description on his Certificate of Medical Examination was height 5 feet 3 inches tall, weight 8 stone 2 lbs., with a medium complexion, grey eyes, and black hair. His religious denomination was Roman Catholic. He claimed to have 18 months previous military service in the Senior Cadets.

‘B. W. Davis’ was named in The Blue Mountain Echo as one of the recruits who joined the Coo-ees at Katoomba.[3]

He completed his medical examination, and was attested by Lieutenant F. Middenway, on the 5th November 1915 at Katoomba.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

Private Davis, along with several other local Coo-ees, including Privates Trow, Nimmo, Pettigrew, Perkins, Hayes, Duff, and Mason, was given a send-off at the Empire Theatre in Katoomba on Wednesday evening 15th December 1915, where Mayor James presented them with medals, and ‘spoke highly of the courage of the boys who marched away with the Coo-ees, and wished them every luck in the great fight they were undertaking’.[4]

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was “Eden” Leichardt Street, Katoomba N.S.W.[5] His next of kin was listed as his father, B. W. Davis, at the same address.

On 3rd May 1916 Privater Davis departed Sydney on the HMAT Hymettus A1, with the 16th reinforcements for the 6th Light Horse Regiment.

On 22nd May 1916, whilst on the voyage to Egypt, Private Davis was charged with absenting himself without leave from all parades on 18th and 19th May 1916 and being a malingerer. He was awarded 120 hours detention.

After arriving in Egypt, Trooper Davis was taken on strength of the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir on 27th June 1916.

On 1st July 1916 Trooper Davis was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital sick.  He was admitted to the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Abbassia on 4th July 1916. He was discharged and returned to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment on 27th July 1916.

On 5th August 1916 Trooper Davis was transferred to the 6th Light Horse Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir.

On 14th January 1917 Trooper Davis was sent to the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance for dental treatment. He returned to the Regiment on 15th January 1917.

He served with the 6th Light Horse Regiment until  23rd March 1918, when Trooper Davis was sent to the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance sick. On 24th March he was moved back to the 66th Casualty Clearing Station. On 25th March 1918 he was moved to the 76th Casualty Clearing Station. On 27th March 1918 he was admitted to the 43rd Stationary Hospital. On 28th March 1918 he was transferred to the 24th Stationary Hospital at Kantara. On 29th March he was admitted to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at Moascar. On 19th April 1918 he was transferred to the 14th Australian General Hospital.

On 26th April 1918 he was sent to a Rest Camp at Port Said. He was discharged on 15th May 1918 and sent to the 2nd Light Horse Training Regiment at Moascar.

On 18th June 1918 Trooper Davis was charged with when on active service ‘he at Cairo on the 16th of June 1918 made use of a document purporting to be a genuine pass well knowing that the date thereon had been altered’, and also with being absent without leave from 0900 on 13th June 1918 till apprehended by the Military Police in Cairo at 0945 on 16th June 1918. He was fined 4 days pay and awarded 28 days Field Punishment No. 2.

Trooper Davis re-joined the 6th Light Horse Regiment at Moascar on 25th July 1918.

On 17th December 1918 Trooper Davis was admitted to the 78th General Hospital suffering Lupus Vulgaris. On the 18th of December 1918 he was transferred to the 44th Stationary Hospital at Kantara, then onto the 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia later that day.

On 26th January 1919 Trooper Davis commenced his return to Australia from Suez aboard the HT Damosthenes for medical discharge.

He arrived in Australia on 2nd March 1919.

He was discharged medically unfit on 28th June 1919.

 

[1] NAA: B2455, DAVIS B W

[2] NAA: B2455, DAVIS B W – Date of birth given as 14th April 1899 in a Statutory Declaration dated 19th May 1953.

[3] March O’er the Mountains. (1915, November 12). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), p. 3. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142

[4] Benefit to Our Boys. (1915, December 17). The Blue Mountain Echo (NSW : 1909 – 1928), p. 6. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108041454

[5] Australian War Memorial. First World War Embarkation Roll, Benjamin William Davis, HMAT Hymettus A1, 3rd May 1916.

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