Albert William DAVIS

DAVIS, Albert William

Service Number: 5792
Enlisted: 25 April 1916
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 22nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia, September 1897
Home Town: Rutherglen, Indigo, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Coach builder
Died: MG bullet to jaw and leg, 61st casualty Clearing Station Vignacourt, France, 21 May 1918
Cemetery: Vignacourt British Cemetery, Picardie
Vignacourt British Cemetery (Plot II, Row B, Grave No. 14), France, Vignacourt British Cemetery, Vignacourt, Picardie, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Rutherglen War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

25 Apr 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 5792, 22nd Infantry Battalion
2 Oct 1916: Involvement Private, 5792, 22nd Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '14' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Nestor embarkation_ship_number: A71 public_note: ''
2 Oct 1916: Embarked Private, 5792, 22nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Nestor, Melbourne
24 Apr 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 22nd Infantry Battalion
19 May 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, 5792, 22nd Infantry Battalion, MGSW, lower jaw and lower leg at Ville-Sur-Ancre, France DOW Vignacourt, France
15 May 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 22nd Infantry Battalion
21 May 1918: Involvement Corporal, 5792, 22nd Infantry Battalion, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 5792 awm_unit: 22 Battalion awm_rank: Corporal awm_died_date: 1918-05-21

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Cpl 5792 Albert William Davis
22nd Australian Infantry Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division
In the silent and peaceful fields of the Somme, still stand a whole generation of young men who walk through the poppies on which they shed their blood and on which they gave their lives.Today, these young men who fought and fell together in the trenches and the battlefields rest in peace next to each other, united forever in brotherhood and mateship under the countless rows of their white graves on which are engraved and remembered their names, their stories and which, forever in our hearts, will never cease to live.We will remember them, we will remember who they were and what they did for us and through us we will bring them back to life so that they are never forgotten.

Today, it is with my heart and with the deepest gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, one of my boys of the Somme. I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to the Corporal number 5792 Albert William Davis who fought in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division, and who died of his wounds 103 years ago, on May 21, 1918 at the age of 20 on the Somme front.
Albert William Davis was born in 1898 in Rutherglen, Victoria, and was the son of John Wesley Davis, Tower Hill, Rutherglen, Victoria. Albert was educated in Rutherglen and served for four years in the 57th, 72nd and 46th Senior Cadets Battalion and worked as a coach builder.

Albert Enlisted on April 25, 1916 in Melbourne, Victoria,as a Private in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion, 16th Reinforcement and was sent to Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria, for a six month training period and embarked with his unit from Melbourne, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on October 2, 1916 and sailed for Plymouth, England, where he was disembarked on November 16, 1916 and the following day,on November 17, was sent to Larkhill Camp to receive his training with the 6th Training Battalion on Salisbury Plain and was promoted the same day to the rank of Acting Corporal.

Three months later, on February 4, 1917, Albert embarked with his battalion from Folkestone, England, on board SS Arundel and proceeded for France where he was disembarked the same day at Etaples where he joined the 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot and the next day, on February 5, was reverted to the rank of Private.Two weeks later, on February 18, he was promoted to the rank of Acting Sergeant but a month later, on March 22, was again reverted to the rank of Private then taken on strength in the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion on March 23 and appointed Lance Corporal on May 24, 1917.

on July 10, 1917, two months after Albert was appointed Lance Corporal, he was admitted to the hospital suffering from Syphilis and on July 15, was admitted to the 39th General Hospital in Le Havre.

After recovering, Albert returned to the 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot at Etaples on August 29, 1917 and six months later, on February 28, 1918, he joined the 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion on the Somme front where he fought with great courage and was promoted two months later, on April 25, 1918 to the rank of Temporary Corporal on the very day of the success of the Australian offensive at Villers-Bretonneux and the following month, on May 17, was promoted to the rank of Corporal.

Unfortunately, it was in the Somme, two days later, on May 19, 1918, that Albert met his fate.

on May 19, 1918, at 3:00 am, during an assault behind Ville-Sur-Ancre, Somme, Albert was hit by a machine gun bullet in the left leg then was hit by a shell which seriously injured him in the jaw and was carried and evacuated by an Australian stretcher bearer and German prisoners at the 61st casualty Clearing Station in Vignacourt, Somme, where despite the greatest care, he died of his wounds two days later, on May 21, 1918.He was 20 years old.
Today, Albert William Davis rests in peace with his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at Vignacourt British Cemetery, Somme.

Albert, you who, with bravery and determination fought and served proudly for your country and who, in the fields of the Somme, on these lands of remembrance on which poppies grow, gave your life for our country, for France, I would like today, I who have the privilege and the honor to stand with respect in front of you and your comrades who did not have the chance to return home but who here, have found their last home, to say thank you from the bottom of my heart and express my gratitude to you who have done so much for my country.Today, thanks to you, we live in the peace for which you fought and fell alongside your friends and brothers in arms, a peace which is your legacy and for which millions of lives were lost in the mud of the trenches and battlefields of the great war on which was shed so much blood and tears and where so many hopes and dreams were shattered under the violence of the storms of steel.They were young, too young but so brave and they who dreamed of a better life, decided to enlist to live a great adventure and see the world alongside their friends and all answered the call of duty.Enthusiastic and proud, they left their homes without knowing what awaited them on the battlefields, they were young and did not think of death, they wanted to be together and make their country proud by doing their part in this great war, they were innocent, smiling and full of life and after a last goodbye, a last hug in the arms of their mothers, their loved ones, their fiancees, they embarked on the boats which took them to the other side of the world, in france, a country that they did not know much but that they loved deeply and that they learned to know, a country for which they fought with determination and perseverance.Confident and proud to show their courage, the bravery of all of Australia, they marched in tight lines, singing and whistling through the villages of northern France, lifting their helmets to greet the people of France, they went through the fields of wheat and poppies, through the ruined cities destroyed by the endless bombardment of thousands of cannons, they marched with a deep desire to fight, gathered around the same causes for which they were ready to give their lives, all had in their hearts the desire to fight for peace and freedom, justice and democracy, guided by their comrades and by their convictions, they soon joined the first trenches and the front line under the whistling of bullets and the howls of shells that greeted them, first contact with the fury and brutality of a world at war consumed by flames and crushed by tons of shells which, day after day, in landscapes of apocalypses,changed the face of the world and transformed landscapes that were once silent, green and peaceful into fields of death and mud that were no more than pools of blood and shell holes.In front of them, as far as the eye could see on no man's land, they saw for the first time, their comrades, thousands of lifeless men, stopped and cut down in the barbed wire, men kneeling in death, these young men knew that soon it would be their turn to assault and come out of the trenches but despite these horrors they remained strong, their courage and determination was never broken, they faced their fears and found the strength to hold the line in camaraderie who united them.In the mud, among the rats, torn by hunger, they never complained and showed their humanity in the face of the brutality of the war, they kept their sense of humor, shared joys and sorrows together, exchanged photos and cigarettes to support each other, they were considered among the bravest by their French brothers in arms who fought with them and with whom sincere friendships were born. Suddenly, like a thunderclap, their officers gave them the order to stand ready, to fix their bayonets, silence in the trenches, last words, last handshakes, last discreet tears, they raised their eyes to their fates, towards the battlefield which they were going to have to cross under the fire of the cannons and machine guns and together, screaming for courage, they climbed the wooden ladders and went over the parapet alongside their friends, their brothers and moved forward by charging courageously under a hail of bullets, under the crossfire of enemy rifles and machine guns under which they were mown down one by one at an infernal rate, nowhere to hide, nowhere to protect themselves from the fire, they moved forward with exceptional courage in the face of almost certain death, they did their duty with honor and lay down in the poppy fields in a peace they found after so much suffering and in which they still stand side by side in the white cities of the Somme cemeteries.Gone but not and never forgotten,I would always watch over them walking through the rows of their graves telling and sharing their stories so that like the poppies that grow near them season after season, they never cease to live.Thank you so much Albert, for everything.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.