Davies, Robert Edward

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Robert Edward Davies

33291, Private, 16th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Killed in action, 31 July 1917, aged 19
Buried at Dragoon Camp Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

CWGC registered (no family details)

Robert Edward Davies was born on 11 February 1898 in Llandudno. He was the son of a limestone quarryman Robert Davies and his wife Alice Ann Davies (née Owen). The Census for Wales of 1901 records the family living at 11 Craig-y-Don Parade. Ten years later, the family lived at “Spring Field”, Conway Road, Llandudno – Robert (senior) worked as a dustman for the Llandudno Urban District Council and Robert Edward Davies was at school.

On 14 August 1915, Robert Edward volunteered to join Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He gave his address as “House over [Mr William] Wilkes Green’s Shop”, Mostyn Avenue, Llandudno and his trade as a tailor. He claimed that he was aged 19 years and one month though he was actually 17 years and six months. The minimum age to join up was 18 though a soldier had to be 19 before being sent overseas. With a regimental number of 33291, he joined at St. Asaph and served initially with the 20th (Reserve) Battalion being posted to the 14th (Service) Battalion on 11 October 1915, then in Winchester. A month later, he was posted back to the 20th RWF, having been discovered as underage but he remained in the army because he was over the age of 17. On 18 April 1916, still aged 18 and underage for overseas service, Robert Edward was posted to France and joined 38 Infantry Base Depot at Étaples two days later. He joined the 16th (Service) Battalion RWF on 7 May 1916. The battalion had formed at Llandudno in November 1914 and landed in France in December 1915. Robert Edward spent a little time in hospital at 37 Field Ambulance in July 1916. He joined 5 Infantry Base Depot at Rouen on 9 September 1916 because the authorities became aware that he was still underage – his actual date of birth was annotated in his service record at the time. He took leave in the UK from 14 to 20 November 1916 and rejoined the 16th RWF on 24 February 1917, 13 days after his 19th birthday.

Robert Edward Davies was killed in action on 31 July 1917 aged 19. This was the day when the 38th (Welsh) Division was engaged in the Battle of Pilckem Ridge, a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres otherwise known as Passchendaele. He was buried at Dragoon Camp Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Known memorials:

  • Llandudno Roll of Honour
  • Llandudno War Memorial
  • Memorial Chapel, Holy Trinity Church, Llandudno
  • Llanrhos Parish War Memorial, All Saints’ Church, Deganwy

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