My Memoirs – Remembering the fallen of World War 1

Private Harry Davis - died at Flanders in world war 1

My great-uncle, William Harry Davis, was born in 1879 and baptised in 1882 at St. Peter’s, St. Albans. Later on, with the death of his father, the family moved to Hart Hill Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire. On 4th August 1906 Harry (as he was known) married Mary Edridge. There were two children born – Stanley and Gladys.

Harry went to France with the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, but was killed on 16th February 1916 in Flanders. He is buried in the Cambrin Military Cemetary, Pas de Calais, France, grave reference F9.

I have found out this information through family research. I didn’t know the story beforehand. Harry was part of a very large family of Davis’s. There were about thirteen children. My little nanna, Ethel was the youngest and her brother Harry was next but one up the line with Mabel in between.

I didn’t see my dad for a large part of my life because he moved to Australia when I was fifteen. I didn’t see him again until I was thirty-two years old. If I had known my dad better during those years, I expect I would have heard these stories frequently. I do know that my dad, whose middle name was Harry, was named after his Uncle. I know that now but I didn’t know it until I started researching.

When I heard that The Royal British Legion were offering commemoration for the fallen soldiers in World War 1, I decided to remember my great uncle in this way. I am hoping they will put a poppy on his gravestone, since he is fortunate to have one. Not everyone did.

I have no contact with this branch of the family. Does anyone on here know of them? All I know is that Harry and Mary were married in Northwood, Middx. but since he spent a large part of his growing years here in Luton, I felt it appropriate to remember him here.

Who are you going to particularly remember on November 11th?


4 thoughts on “My Memoirs – Remembering the fallen of World War 1

  1. Thank you for sharing this with us Oma.. So many fallen past family members in need of remembrance.. I will remember a great Uncle who died My Grandfather was shot and wounded… Another Uncle was captured in a POW… And I will remember all the Land Army Girls.. And my other Grandparents who took in refugees from London to keep them safe… And whom they kept in touch with for Many years after they went home…
    xxx Sue

    • yes, as the poppies show, so many … My grandfather fought in Word War 1 too but he wasn’t killed, luckily for me! So of course I will remember him. For a long time I didn’t think I had a family member who died in World War 1, then Harry turned up during my research. It was a poignant moment for me. So many stories xx

  2. I think it is important to teach our families and the new generations of the sacrifice so many made for them, and even to the extent of telling them exactly how those sacrifices have helped them. The young might not appreciate the history lesson now, but one day ( sooner than they think ) they’ll understand. A young man or woman volunteered to put themselves in harm’s way and might even have been killed to ensure the rights enjoyed by so many who ignorant of this sacrifice .

    It is so good to learn these things about our families, isn’t it ? It makes me appreciate even more the family that preceded me and try to remind my children and their children of these important things.

    We’ll be remembering my father and my husband’s father who both served in war & are now deceased, and also the living veterans in our family. ( Our oldest son was a tank commander for the U.S.M.C. in Iraq )

  3. You’re so right Kathy. Last night on TV I watched the Festival of Remembrance from the Royal Albert Hall in London. The Queen was there and many other members of the Royal family and dignities. It was a wonderful festival although I was in tears for most of it as the stories unfolded. I don’t think My children realise what it must have been like in those far off days. I know I didn’t – being born so soon after World War 11. It wasn’t until I was much older that I realised that the second World War was so close to my birth. As the years slip by, we must not forget. We owe it to the soldiers, then and now! to pay homage to the sacrifices they have made and are making. Without their selflessness we would not be enjoying the liberty we have today.

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