The AIF Project

John Francis DAVEY

Regimental number363
Place of birthNorthcote, Victoria
SchoolKinross School, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressLocksley, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 7"
Weight143 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs M. Davey, Locksley, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 January 1915
Place of enlistmentSeymour, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll57th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWas on board the "Southland" when she was torpedoed on 2nd September. Details from Mary Davey (mother), Locksley PO. Locksley, Victoria
FateKilled in Action 26 April 1918
Place of death or woundingVillers Bretonneux, France
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Fredrick Francis and Mary DAVEY, Locksley, Victoria. Born at Northcote, VIctoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2360 Pte Charles Eric DAVEY, 1st Divisional Signal Company, returned to Australia, 18 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 29 August 1915.

Admitted to Helouan Convalescent Depot, 15 September 1915 (influenza); discharged to Zeitoun, 21 September 1915.

Rejoined 21st Bn, Anzac, 25 October 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, ex-Mudros, 7 December 1915.

Taken on strength of 57th Bn, Ferry Post, 1 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Promoted Lance Corporal, 14 September 1916.

On leave to England, 16 January 1917; rejoined unit, 14 February 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 19 February 1917.

Wounded in action, 13 May 1917, and admitted to 5th Divisional Rest Station (No 15 Australian Field Ambulance), the same day (gunshot wound, thigh); discharged, 15 June 1917; rejoined 57th Bn, 28 June 1917.

To Corps School, 26 August 1917; rejoined unit, 11 September 1917.

Promoted Lance Sergeant, 5 October 1917.

On leave to England, 24 January 1918; rejoined unit, 13 February 1918.

Killed in action, 26 April 1918.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVEY John Francis

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