No.60666 Private Archie Davis
Archie Davis was born on 26 June 1881 to George Davis and Alice Prosser at Werribee, Victoria. His parents had married in Victoria in 1863, and operated a farm at Tarneit.
His recorded siblings were:
- Harry (born 1864),
- Frederick (born 1867),
- George Frederick (born1869),
- Percival (born 1871),
- Louis (born 1873),
- Lucy Ester (born 1876), and
- Elsie Mary Jane (born 1879).
All of these births were registered in the Wyndham area.
Archie Davis married Amy Louisa McDougal in Victoria, in 1904, and they began farming in the Balliang area. They had six children, which were all born in Melbourne’s west. They were:
- Archie Harry Davis (born 1904 at Footscray) (later a baker at Maryborough)
- James (Jim) Davis (born 1907 at Bacchus Marsh - died before 1947)
- Colin Walter Davis (born 1910 at Bacchus Marsh – died 1930)
- Alan Victor Davis (born 1912 at Newport) (later a baker at Birchip)
- Amy May Davis (born 1915 at Newport) (later Mrs G. Ibbott)
- Lawrence (Laurie) Davis, (lived at Maryborough)
The Electoral rolls between 1912 And 1919 record that Archie Davis and his wife Amy Louisa were farming on a property named Belvoir near Balliang, in the Geelong North district.
Late in the war Archie Davis left his family and farm behind, and enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 2 April 1918. He was first sent to the Recruit Depot at Broadmeadows for training. His service record says that he was 36 years and 9 months old, and had scars on his left groin and left leg. He had applied to enlist earlier, but had been rejected because of a hernia.
After initial training he remained with the No 1 Depot Battalion in Melbourne as a Private, until he sailed for Europe on 22 July 1918. Before he embarked, Archie was farewelled at a special function at the Balliang Hall. As reported in the Melton Express, 8 June 1918, p.3 "... singers must have their voices in good tune...".
On 23 July 1918, Private Archie Davis was one of the members of the 8th Reinforcements that embarked at Melbourne per HMAT Marathon A74. They sailed for England, and after a voyage of two months, the ships company disembarked at London on 27 September 1918, and marched into the 1st Training Battalion at Fovant, in the south of England. There he was allotted as one of the reinforcements for the 7th Battalion, and not long after, he spent 10 days in the Group Hospital at Sutton Venny. Archie was still at the training camp in southern England when the war ended on 11 November 1918.
After returning to duty, he embarked from Southampton to France on 25 January 1919, and was taken on strength with the 7th Battalion in the field at Couillett. They and other Battalions were slowly disbanding, and returning home. The weather there was cold and snowy, and the troops were occupied each day with sports competitions, concerts, dances and training.
After 3 months in the field at the Couillett Camp, Archie was attached to Headquarters Australian Base Depot at Havre. He remained in France until 14 May 1919, when he returned to England. There he was granted leave before eventually embarking for Australia per Argylshire, and he disembarked at Melbourne on 22 September 1919. Private Davis was discharged from the 3rd Military District on 7 October 1919, as T.P.E. (Termination of period of enlistment).
After being discharged from the A.I.F., Archie and Amy Louisa appeared on the Electoral Roll of 1921, living at Kingston Road, Cheltenham, and his occupation was still a "farmer". His Electoral Roll description remained as a farmer until his death in 1947.
When he received his British War Medal in 1924, Archie was living at his home at Kingston Road in Cheltenham. He remained there for the remainder of his life.
Archie Davis died at his home in Kingston Road Cheltenham on 14 June 1947. His will stated that he was then working as a Milk Carrier.
He is buried in the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery. A death notice was published in The Argus, 17 June 1947, p.15. A probate notice was published in The Argus, 22 August 1947, p.12.
Medals & Entitlements:
- British War Medal
* The name Davis, A. first appeared in the Roll of Honor, The Werribee Shire Banner, 9 January 1919, p.1.
* His name is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh. A tree was planted in the Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour by his son. http://www.bacchusmarsh.avenueofhonour.org.au/people.php?personId=_18051579&submit=display&menu=0&num=8&searchName=davis&searchDate=
Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888
Edwardian Index Victoria 1902-1913
Service History http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/NameSearch/