The AIF Project

Samuel John DAVIDSON

Regimental number3970
Place of birthGawler, South Australia
AddressState School, Albany, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height6' 3"
Weight175 lbs
Next of kinFather, W. Davidson, Gawler, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected for service)
Enlistment date1 May 1917
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll13 April 1917
Place of enlistmentPerth, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name51st Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/68/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 30 October 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 24 April 1918
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
Commemorated in Willaston Cemetery, Gawler, South Australia. Parents: William (d. 13 September 1923, aged 61) and Frances (d. 5 January 1925, aged 66) DAVIDSON, Bridge Street, Gawler South, South Australia (both bu. Willaston Cemetery, Gawler)
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 30 October 1917, and promoted V.O. Sergeant the same day; admitted to Ship's Hospital, 25 November 1917 (influenza); discharged, 28 November 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 27 December 1917.

Marched into 13th Training Bn, Codford, 27 December 1917, and reverted to the rank of Private the same day.

Promoted Acting Sergeant, 28 December 1917.

On Command at Bombing School, Lyndhurst, 6 February 1918; qualified 1st Class, 23 February 1918; marched into 13th Training Bn, Codford, 24 February 1918.

Reverted to the rank of Private, 31 March 1918.

Proceeded overseas to France, 1 April 1918; marched into 4th M.B. Base Depot, Calais, 1 April 1918.

Proceeded to unit, 4 April 1918; taken on strength of 51st Bn, 6 April 1918.

Killed in action, 24 April 1918.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVIDSON Samuel John

Print format    

© The AIF Project 2024, UNSW Canberra. Not to be reproduced without permission.