Evan Lloyd Davies MM
1st/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment
Division 32 Grave number 8995
Evan Lloyd Davies was the son of William and Rhoda Davies and husband of Grace Ethel Davies. He died on the 5th November 1918 of wounds received on 27th August 1916 as the 48th Division tried to take the Thiepval ridge. During the battle he received the head wound which ended his war and ultimately his life. Evan Lloyd Davies had acquitted himself well during the battle and was commended for the Military Medal for ‘distinguished bravery in the field’. He was buried in Reading Cemetery on the morning of the Armistice, 11th November 1918 aged 35. He left his wife and two children.
Evan Lloyd Davies was a teacher at the Wokingham Road Senior School, now Alfred Sutton Primary School. The plaque above commemorates his name and is in the junior hall of the school.
He had served overseas with his Territorial unit from the beginning of the war. His full story is told in ‘The School, the Master, the Boys and the V.C.’ which is the story behind the Alfred Sutton School Memorial.
|In 1998 children from the school laid a poppy wreath on the grave of Evan Lloyd Davies in remembrance of his service to the school and his role in the Great War.
Evan Lloyd Davies was one of six Reading teachers to lose their lives in the war.
David James Davies
Machine Gun Corps attached to “C” Battalion Tank Corps.
David James Davies was the son of Mr Walter and Mrs Florence Esther Davies of 32. Market Place, Reading. It was from that address that Walter Davies ran his shop selling china and glass. In 1911 David was 13 and still at school. HIs older sister Ester Madeline is described as working part time in the shop and part time as a student. David’s oldest sister Florence was not living with the family in 1911. He was commemorated on a his family’s grave.
The Third Battle of Ypres began on 31st July 1917. A bombardment had begun fifteen days earlier and over four million shells had been fired. (One million had been fired prior to the Battle of the Somme). At 3.50a.m. the assaulting troops of the Second and Fifth Armies, with a portion of the French First Army lending support on the left, moved forward, accompanied by 136 tanks. The Tank Corps was only four days old. Previously it had been known as the Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps, a name adopted for purposes of secrecy at their formation. Preparations for the battle had taken place in dry weather but on the first day the weather broke and three-quarters of an inch (21.7mm) of rain soaked the battlefield. Men and tanks moved forward behind the creeping barrage over ground churned and cratered by years of shelling. The surface was softened by the rain but, for all that only two tanks bogged down at the commencement of battle although many ditched later. A map was prepared by Major Fuller, Staff Intelligence Officer of the Tanks, of the ground over which the tanks were expected to attack. Where he expected the ground to be marshy, he coloured the area blue. What he saw appalled him, it was three-quarters of the battlefield. He sent the maps to Haig’s GHQ so that the Commander in Chief could judge conditions for himself. However, the map was intercepted by Charteris who refused to show it to the Commander in Chief on the grounds that it would depress him. Only 48% of the tanks reached their first objective. Although there was some progress in the early part of the day by late morning the familiar breakdown in communications between infantry and guns occurred. At two in the afternoon the Germans began to counter attack with a heavy shelling and this together with the heavy rain turned the battle field into soupy mud. A halt to the offensive was called until the 4th August. However, Haig insisted that the attack had been “highly satisfactory and the losses slight”. By comparison with the Somme, when 20,000 men had died on the opening day, only about 8,800 men were reported dead or missing. The total wounded, including those of the French Army, numbered 35,000, the Germans suffered a similar number. However, the Germans remained in command of the vital ground and committed none of their counter attack divisions. Prince Rupprecht , in his diary recorded that he was “very satisfied with the results”.
It is not known exactly when and where David James Davies was killed in command of his tank but it was struck by a shell on the opening day of the battle. David Davies had no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Panel 56. He was aged 20.
Herbert Charles Davies
2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade
Bombardier Arthur S. Davies
2nd/1st Battalion Berkshire Royal Horse Artillery
Herbert Charles Davies and Arthur S. Davies were the sons of Mary Davies and late Evan Davies of 122. Cumberland Road, Reading. The whole family are buried in Division 79. Grave 16550 of the Reading Cemetery. The grave is actually registered as a war grave but at the start of this research did not bear the distinctive war pattern headstone. The CWGC placed a war pattern headstone on the grave when Herbert’s name became indistinct and he was not appropriately commemorated on the family grave. Herbert’s name is the one registered with the CWGC. He is also commemorated on the St. Bartholomew’s memorial.
Herbert died 4th December 1918 Aged 19. The inscription on the grave states that he was a repatriated prisoner of war. It has not been possible to locate a picture of Herbert Davies.
It has also been difficult to trace information about Arthur Davies because his service details are not registered with the CWGC. However, The Standard of July 26th 1917 Pg. 5 carried an article:
Missing, Feared Loss of Memory
Mr A.S. Davies formerly of the Berks. R.H.A., of 122 Cumberland Rd. Reading has been missing from his home since Thursday in last week. He had been badly wounded in the head, and it is feared that he is suffering form loss of memory. He was wearing brown trousers and a light grey cap and coat, also an grey shirt, socks and boots. He has very heavy eyebrows, which meet across the bridge of his nose. His height is about 5ft 8inches.
A picture, published in the Chronicle 28th September 1917carries the caption “wounded in both legs, one arm and head”. Arthur Davies obviously suffered for some time. The inscription on the grave indicates that he died on July 17th 1919, aged 24.
“Another victim of the war”.
The brother are commemorated on the War Memorial of Alfred Sutton Primary School.