Herbert Martyn DAVIES

DAVIES, Herbert Martyn

Service Number: 185
Enlisted: 13 March 1915, An original of C Squadron, 13th L.H.R.
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 57th Infantry Battalion
Born: Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia, 21 August 1891
Home Town: Heidelberg, Banyule, Victoria
Schooling: Scotch College, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of wounds, France, 22 July 1916, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Estaires Communal Cemetery and Extension, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Heidelberg War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

13 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 185, 13th Light Horse Regiment, An original of C Squadron, 13th L.H.R.
28 May 1915: Involvement Private, 185, 13th Light Horse Regiment, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '3' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Persic embarkation_ship_number: A34 public_note: ''
28 May 1915: Embarked Private, 185, 13th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Persic, Melbourne
22 Jul 1916: Involvement Sergeant, 185, 57th Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 185 awm_unit: 57 Battalion awm_rank: Sergeant awm_died_date: 1916-07-22

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Herbert (Martyn) Davies was born on 21 August 1891 in Heidelberg, Victoria. His parents were Charles Martyn and Lucy Amelia (née Walker) Davies. He attended Scotch from 1905 to 1908. Davies was a fine club golfer, winning various trophies at Eaglemont and Yarra Golf Clubs. He entered his occupation as farming but it was reported in a Fitzroy newspaper that Davies was the senior partner in the well-known firm of Messrs. Davies and Swaine, outfitters, of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

After enlisting in March 1915, Martyn Davies was posted to the 13th Light Horse Regiment on 1 May of that year and departed for Egypt later that month. He became a Corporal on 22 July. He reached Gallipoli on 4 September 1915, but was hospitalised with influenza on 29 November. His The Scotch Collegian obituary says this illness was ‘trench fever’, and the consequence of ‘being in a blizzard in wet clothes for 4 hours.’ He was transferred to Alexandria at the beginning of December 1915, and was still in hospital at year’s end, when he was diagnosed with nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys). He was not released until 7 January 1916, and within 9 days was back in hospital with gastroenteritis. He returned to his regiment in March, but in April was transferred to the newly formed 57th Battalion, with a promotion to Sergeant.

He arrived in France at Marseille on 23 June 1916. Within a month, on 15 July, he was wounded, and admitted to a casualty clearing station with the diagnosis: ‘Gunshot wound head compound fracture skull.'

Martyn died of his wounds on 22 July, a week after being hit. He was buried in France.

On the day of his death a telegram reached his parents in Melbourne telling them that Martyn was ‘dangerously ill’ and describing his wound. His father, Charles, wrote a letter to the authorities telling them that Martyn’s mother was in weak health, and asking them to direct information about his fate to him first so that he could break the news to her rather than her hear about it from the newspaper. The letter reached the authorities too late and an apologetic note to the father followed. Martyn’s service file contains a letter from his father, dated August 1916 and requesting from army authorities –when they had time - particulars of where his son died and was buried. Charles had a sister in France and he hoped that she could visit the grave ‘and possibly put some distinguishing mark on his last resting place’ (see below). Charles also hoped that his second son, then recovering from wounds in England, could also attend. This son, Alan, would die on the Western Front, in 1918. at the time of Martyn's death, Alan was recovering from serious wounds suffered during a trench raid with the 14th Battalion on 2 July 1916.