William Amos DAVIES


DAVIES, William Amos

Service Number: 779
Enlisted: 17 February 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Grangeville, South Australia, 26 June 1896
Home Town: Grangeville, South Australia
Schooling: Queenstown & Alberton Public Schools
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Died of Wounds , Vignacourt, France, 11 June 1918, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Vignacourt British Cemetery
Memorials: Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - Rose Park, Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Murray Bridge Roll of Honour WW1
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World War 1 Service

14 Jan 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 779, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
17 Feb 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Geelong A2
15 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 779, 27th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
1 Mar 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 779, 27th Infantry Battalion, German Withdrawal to Hindenburg Line and Outpost Villages
31 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 779, 27th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
30 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 779, 27th Infantry Battalion, "Peaceful Penetration - Low-Cost, High-Gain Tactics on the Western Front"
Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

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Surname: DAVIES; Given Names: William Amos; Date of Birth: 26 June 1896; Date of Enlistment: 17 February 1915; Trade or Calling: Carpenter; Birth Location: Grangeville SA; Address prior to enlistment: Grangeville SA; Photograph sent by: Frederick Davies
Source: State Records SA

William Amos Davies was born in Grangeville in Adelaide's inner western suburbs on 26 June 1896 to father Frederick Davies and his wife , William was apprneticed for 2 years as a Carpenter with F Fricker,  a well known Adelaide building company for many years,  at Queenstown.  He spent 3 years in school cadets and 3 1/2 years service in the volunteer Naval Reserve prior to enlistment.in the Army

He enlisted aged 18 on the 17th February 1915.  By the time of William's enlistment his parnets had moved to Halsbury Street Kingswood in Adelaide's inner southern suburbs.

William joined the main body of the 27th battalion in training at Mitcham Camp, and after basic training he embarked with the Battalion from Port Adelaide on the HMAT Geelong 31 May 1915. 

The 27th Battalion assembled in Egypt and underwent further training prior to landing at Gallipoli in September 1915.  William served on Gallipoli from 15 September to 9 November 1915.  He was promoted Corporal on the 22nd September 1915 at ANZAC.

0n 9 November, he was evacuated to Alexandria and then Australia suffering from Enteric Fever.  This disease is these days known as Typhoid, and was a major killer at the time and caused serious casualties among the force at ANZAC.  It arose primarily because of poor sanitation and hygiene with the prevalence of makeshift burial grounds, dead bodies and poor ablutions a major cause.  Many of the casualties were evacuated home to Australia and William was one of those. 

He embarked for a second time, on the HMAT Bulla with athe 12th reinforcement draft for the 27th Battalion on 24th June 1916.  By this time the Battalion was in northern France.  The voyage over appears to have taken nearly four months.  It wasn’t until August that William joined a training unit in the UK before finally re-joining the 27th Battalion late in December 1916, when the Battalion was in winter quarters near Guedecourt during the worst winter in living memory.

On his way to the Battalion via the huge personnel depot at Etaples near the French Atlantic coast, William was appointed Acting Sergeant at on 22 November 1916, probably to replace casualties from the action at Flers.  He re-joined Battalion 8 December 1916.  He was appointed Temporary Sergeant 3 March 1917 and then substantive Sergeant 7 April 1917 during which time the Battalion was engaged in the Outpost Village battles and at Warlancourt as the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg line.  He served throughout the remainder of the year.

William was then detached for 3 months in UK on a series of courses and training at Tidworth and Fovant, including a 'Rifle Course' at the Australian School of Musketry where he also undertook Lewis Gun training.

William re-joined the Battalion in May 1918.  In June the Battalion was in action near Morlancourt, and on 11 June 1918, William sustained shrapnel wounds to his chest and arm,  He was evacuated to the 61st Casualty Clearing Station at Vignacourt, where he died of his wounds. He was buried in the nearby military cemetery.  He was just short of his 22nd birthday.


1914/15 Star 20764

British War medal 13144

Victory Medal 13085  11 August 1921 

Commemorative Medallion  346426 5 December 1922