Varney Eric Stanford DAVIS

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DAVIS, Varney Eric Stanford

Service Number: 2523
Enlisted: 10 February 1916, Goulburn, New South Wales
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 55th Infantry Battalion
Born: Murrumbateman, New South Wales, 1894
Home Town: Murrumbateman, Yass Valley, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of wounds, 2nd Canadian Clearing Station, Belgium, 28 September 1917
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Lijssenthoek, Flanders, Belgium
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

10 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Goulburn, New South Wales
30 Sep 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2523, 55th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
30 Sep 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2523, 55th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
28 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2523, 55th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres

Varney Eric Stanford Davis

VARNEY ERIC STANFORD DAVIS (1894-1917) born at Violet Cottage - Gounyan Yass, son of George Thomas and Johannah Charlotte Davis nee Merriman. He enlisted in the 55th Infantry Battalion on February 10th, 1916, while working as a farmer at Violet Cottage, Gounyan – just 19 years old. He was sent overseas on the HMAT A60 Aenaes which sailed from Sydney on September 30th, 1916. and arrived in Plymouth on November 14th. He was sent to France on December 21st, on board the Princess Victoria. Varney died of wounds received in the Third Ypres offensive. He was wounded in a blast from a shell, injuring both legs, broke his left knee and had wounds to the back. After treatment in the field he was sent to the 2nd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station in Belgium where he died two days later on September 28th. Private V E S Davis, 2523, 55th Battalion was buried at Lijeesnthook Military Cemetery, Belgium (Plot 24, Row D, Grave No. 2a).
The cemetery is in a small hamlet close to Hazebrouck, by the railway line between Abeele and Poperinghe stations. His mother was sent a form to fill in all essential details to ensure the correct information was placed on the Roll of Honour in the Australian War Memorial, Panel 160, and on his headstone.
Poperinghe, 6 miles west of Ypres, was the main railhead for the whole of the Ypres salient. The Third Ypres offensive opened on July 17th, 1917, and ended on November 17th. Australian units of the 1st and 2nd Divisions attacked Polygon Wood on September 20th, and completed the capture of the wood 7 days later. Sir Douglas Haig reported:- this advance constituted a fine performance, in which the capture of a piece of ground that had much delayed us and was successfully completed.1
His mother received an illuminated address from the citizens of Yass to recognise the sacrifice of her beloved son. This is still held at Violet Cottage and was cared for by Colin and Betty Davis. There is a memorial stone at Gounyan Cemetery and also a sanctuary chair and vases were placed in St Mary Magdalene Church, Mundoonan, dedicated to his memory. His family received a small parcel containing his personal effects:- Handkerchief, Purse, Pipe, Knife, Razor, Pencils, Metal Pencil Case, Prayer Book, Photos, Letters.
In 2013 his war Service Medals, The Victory Medal, British War Medal and 1915-18 Star were placed on sale on ebay but we were not able to place the winning bid. Hopefully the person who purchased them will treasure them and maybe find out a little about the man. [DAVIS of GOUNYAN - ROLL OF HONOUR - BM Pittman]

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