Robert William Davies (1899-1918)
Welsh milkman who served in 6 DLI died in a prisoner-of-war camp
Robert William Davies, the son of Hugh and Jane Catherine Davies, was born in Bangor, North Wales in January 1899. It is believed he had three brothers and a sister but nothing can be established with certainty about his life prior to joining the army.
According to his service record, Robert was a milkman when he enlisted at Bangor on 25 September 1917 and was posted to the 66th Training Reserve Battalion. On 27 October 1917 he was transferred to the 1/7th Battalion, The Welsh Regiment and landed in France on 3 April 1918, having been transferred to the 1/6th Battalion The Welsh Regiment. On 19 April 1918 he was transferred to the 1/6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI). He was reported missing at the end of May 1918. It is assumed that he was wounded and captured by the enemy as he died of his injuries and was buried in Coblenz. He was later re-interred in the Cologne Southern Cemetery.
Researcher’s note: there is some mystery concerning Robert William Davies as he cannot be found under that name on either the 1901 or 1911 censuses. There is a death of a Robert William Davies in Bangor in 1900 at the age of 1. Additionally, the Bangor War Memorial refers to a ‘Hugh William Davies, Private. Durham Light Infantry. Taken prisoner of war on 23/3/1918, age 19. Son of Mr and Mrs Hugh Davies, of 42 Fountain Street, Bangor.’ That address is given as the next of kin address on Robert William’s service record in 1917. Is it possible that, for some reason, Hugh William enlisted in the name of his brother, Robert William? To add to the confusion, the date of death of R W Davies is listed in the Durham Cathedral DLI Book of Remembrance as 12 October 1919 not 12 October 1918 as recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Birth date: 1899
Death date: 12-Oct-1918
Armed force/civilian: Army
Residence: 11 High Street, Bangor, Caernarvonshire (Carernarvonshire Baptisms)
42 Fountain Street, Hirsel, Bangor, Caernarvonshire (British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920)
Religion: Church of England
Employment: Milkman (British Army WWI Service Records, 1914-1920)
Family: Father: Hugh Davies
Mother: Jane Catherine Davies (nee Davies)
Siblings: Annie Ellen, Henry David, Hugh William & William Glyn Davies
Step mother: Ellen Davies
Half siblings: Annie, Mary & William Davies
1/7th & 1/6th Battalions, The Welsh Regiment
Service No: 60991
1/6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry
Service Nos: 27481 & 91759
Medal(s): British War Medal
Memorial(s): Bangor War Memorial, Deiniol Road, Bangor
Cologne Southern Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Grave Ref: XIV.A.11
Contributed by John Edwards
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