680711 DVR/S.S. J. F. DAVIES. R.F.A.
John Fisher Davies was born in March 1898 in Kendal, Westmorland, and baptised there on 10 April. (Incidentally, John’s middle name comes from his maternal grandmother’s maiden name, not the Catholic martyr John Fisher; the family were CofE.) John’s father was Edward Walter Davies (b. 1869 in Kendal), a tailor. His mother was Annie Sill (b. 1870 in Kendal). Edward and Annie were married in Kendal in 1888 and they had seven sons: Charles (b. 1889), William (b. 1891), David (b. 1893), George (b. 1896), then John, then Thomas (b. 1902) and finally Joe (b. 1904). All of the children were born in Kendal. In 1907, Charlie, the eldest but still only 18, emigrated to the United States and about the same time, the rest of the family moved to Preston, so by 1911 they were living at 115 Brook Street, Preston. John had just started work as a weaver in a cotton mill.
The family photo was taken in 1907-08, around the time the family moved to Preston. Charlie had emigrated and his photo is on the wall in the background. John is standing in the front row, on the right, beside his mother.
John enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery, probably in late 1915, and he was assigned service number 680711 and posted to “A” Battery of 286 Brigade. He was a Driver/Shoeing Smith. He landed in France with 57th Division in February 1917 and fought in the defence of Armentières and later that year in the Second Battle of Passchendaele. In 1918, he fought in the Battle of the Lys.
In October 1918, 286 Brigade were supporting 57th Division, and then the Canadians, as they advanced towards Cambrai. John was wounded during this advance and was taken to 33rd Casualty Clearing Station, which was at Boisleux-au-Mont, where he died on 12 October 1918, aged only 20.
Rank: Driver/Shoeing Smith
Service Number: 680711
Date of Death: 12/10/1918
Service/Regiment: Royal Field Artillery, “A” Bty. 286th Bde.
Cemetery/memorial reference: IV. F. 30.
Cemetery: BUCQUOY ROAD CEMETERY, FICHEUX
Additional Information: Son of Mr. E. W. and Annie Davies, of 115 Brook Street, Preston, Lancs.
John’s brother Charlie completed a draft form for the US Army but I don’t know if he actually served. His other older brothers may also have served in the forces but I have no information.