Friday, 14 September 2018

A T Davis 2792

The following entry is from They Answered The Call.  Click here for the contents page.

Alexander Thomas DAVIS

Service number: 2792.  Age: 23 years 11 months.  Enlisted: 1 Oct 1916.
Occupation: Fisherman.  Next of kin: (mother) Mrs Clara Bishop.
Address on enlistment:  Toorbul.

Men of 6 reinforcement 42 Battalion, Enoggera, 1916. [1]

Service Summary:
1 Nov 1916: 11 Depot Battalion.
26 Nov 1916: 6 reinforcement 42 Battalion.
23 Dec 1916: Embarked from Sydney on HMAT A64 Demosthenes.
13 Jul 1917: Taken on strength 42 Infantry Battalion in France.
9 Jun 1918: Wounded in action, gunshot wound to the skull.

“The 42nd Battalion was raised at Enoggera, on the outskirts of Brisbane, in December 1915 and became part of the 11th Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. Due to sharing its numeric title with the famous Scottish regiment the Black Watch, the battalion became known as the "Australian Black Watch". This association was recognised with a bagpipe band.

After training in Australia and Britain, the 42nd deployed to France on 26 November 1916 and entered the frontline for the first time on 23 December. The winter of 1916-17 was horrendous, and the 42nd spent much of it in the front line, the remainder being spent alternating between training and labouring in the rear areas.

In 1917, the operations of the 3rd Division were focussed on the Ypres sector of Belgium. The 42nd participated in major battles at Messines on 7 June, Warneton on 31 July, Broodseinde on 4 October, and Passchendaele on 12 October. Even though the battalion was in a reserve role, the battle of Passchendaele proved particularly costly. It lost over a third of its strength, principally from German gas attacks, and trench foot caused by the sodden condition of the battlefield.

Belgium remained the scene of the 42nd Battalion's activities for the next five months as it was rotated between service in the rear areas and the front line. When the German Army launched its last great offensive in March 1918, the battalion was rushed south to France and played a role in blunting the drive towards the vital railway junction of Amiens.”[2]

20 Aug 1918: Returned to Australia from England on Sardinia arriving 27 Dec 1918.
15 Mar 1919: Discharged.
5 May 1919: Died of wounds.

Roll of Honour: Alexander Davis’s name is located at panel 135 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.[3]

Life Summary:
Alexander Davis (1892-1919) was the second son of Charles Brandon Davis (1863-1924) and Clara Stanley Carnegie (1872-1960) and was born 9 Oct 1892 at Toorbul. Clara Davis’s second husband was Ned Bishop (1885-1942). The Bishop family had resided in the area for many years. Alexander Davis was residing with his mother and stepfather at Toorbul when he enlisted.

On his return to Australia his mother Mrs Clara Bishop cared for him at their Toorbul home however on 5 May 1919 Alexander Davis, aged 26, died from complications of a head wound he had received in battle in France on 9 Jun 1918 and was buried in the King Street Cemetery, Caboolture.

[1] Source: State Library of Queensland neg. no. 177042, cited by Shauna Hicks in ANZAC Day Tribute to Alexander Thomas Davis, 21 Apr 2015,

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