William Jenkin (Billy) DAVEY

Badge Number: V5150, Sub Branch: Horsham

DAVEY, William Jenkin

Service Number: 17043
Enlisted: 30 September 1916, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Sapper
Last Unit: 3rd Divisional Signal Company
Born: Burra, South Australia, 30 March 1894
Home Town: Payneham, Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Kooringa Public School
Occupation: Journalist/Book keeper
Died: War service related (tuberculosis - gas), Payneham, South Australia, 24 April 1926, aged 32 years
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
Section: LO, Road: 8S, Site No: 7
Memorials: Burra District WW1 Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

30 Sep 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 17043, Melbourne, Victoria
17 Jan 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 17043, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
17 Jan 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 17043, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, RMS Omrah, Melbourne
12 Oct 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 17043, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, 1st Passchendaele, Gassed
16 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Sapper, SN 17043, 3rd Divisional Signal Company

Spr William Jenkin Davey

From How We Served

17043 Sapper William Jenkin Davey of Burra, South Australia had been employed as a book keeper when he enlisted for War Service on the 30th of Eptember 1916. Allocated to reinforcements for the 3rd Divisional Signalling Company 1st AIF, William embarked for England and further training on the 17th of Jaunary 1917.

By the 8th of September 1917 William had arrived in France and joined his Unit in the field the following week. William's service would be continuous until he was wounded in action by gas on the 12th of October 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres. Evacuated for hospitalisation at Etaples William would spend time as a convalescent until he was deemed fit enough to be transferred to the AIF Training Depot but was again evacuated to hospital due to defective vison which would be diagnosed as myopia.

Sent back to England for further treatment William would not rejoin his Unit back in France until the 19th of September 1918 and aside further treatment for his eyes he remained on duty until the end of hostilities. William returned to England on the 22nd of April 1919 and was embarked for his repatriation back to Australia on the 12th of June where he received his formal discharge from the 1st AIF on the 16th of September 1919.

William would suffer further from failing health due to gas poisoning and he was to spend time at the 7th Australian General Hospital (Keswick) for ongoing treatment. William's premature death following his service with the 1st AIF took place on the 24th of April 1926 at the age of 32 and he was formally interred within West Terrace Cemetery, South Australia.

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Biography contributed by Roger Davey

"The news of the death of Mr William Jenkin Davey jun. (late Signaller A.I.F.), which occurred at his home, Payneham, on Saturday morning last was received in Burra with deep regret. "Billy" as he was known locally, was born at Kooringa in 1894 and was the eldest son of Mrs E. L. Davey. After leaving school he entered the "Burra Record" Office then owed by his father. In 1913 Mr E.F. Marston bought the business and he and his brother Harold, carried on for some time. He showed marked ability in the trade and being of an ambitions nature, and wishing to gain wider experience, be later went to Horsham Victoria, joining the staff of the "Horsham Times," one of the leading country papers in that State, where he afterwards made his name as a journalist and but for his war service with the consequent loss of health, Will would probably have made his mark in journalism in Australia. He was badly gassed on service and the deadly effects have for years been fought against with a spirit of optimism that was typical of his bright, bouyant, brave nature but the nature of the disease was against him. Although he had been, an inmate of Bedford Park for some time at his own wish when he knew the end was approaching, he was removed to his home where after intense suffering he passed quietly away in his sleep on Saturday. The funeral took place on Anzac Day, when his remains were laid to rest in the Soldiers Cemetery, West Terrace. He leaves a young widow (nee Nurse Miriam Fearce) daughter of Mr and Mrs Walter Pearce of Kooringa, and one little son, Master Keith Davey for whom with his mother and Mr Harold Davey his only brother, great sympathy is felt. Reference to his death was made in the Kooringa Methodist Church at the Sunday evening service and again by Dr D. M. Steele President of the R.S. and S.L. League at the special Anzac after church service at the Redruth Memorial Hall." - from the Burra Record 28 Apr 1926 (trove.nla.gov.au)