DAVEY, Bertie George

No.51823, Private, Bertie George DAVEY
Aged 24

10th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
formerly 45006, Rifle Brigade
formerly 42907, King's Royal Rifle Corps
formerly No.16004, 8th Bn.,Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Thursday, 30th May 1918

Bertie George Davey was born in Euston on 22nd January 1894 (Thetford Q1-1894 4B:378), son of Henry and Sarah Ann DAVEY (née CUTTING).

He entered Euston Free Voluntary School on 22nd December 1897 and left the school on 20th December 1906

1901 census...Aged 7, he was at Barnham Road, Euston with his father Henry DAVEY [44] gardener's labourer born Euston; his mother Sarah A [31] born Sevenhills and sister Christina [11] born Euston

1911 census...Aged 17, a house boy, he was still at Barnham Road, Euston with his parents and brother Leonard [6] born Euston.

CWGC have his mother at Barnham Road, Euston.

He enlisted in Bury St.Edmunds on 10th November 1914 and was placed in the "New Army".Suffolk Regiment No 16004. He gave his age as 20 years 10 months, Church of England, born Euston and living at Barnham Road, a footman. He was 5 feet 4.5 inches (163.8 cm)tall, chest 32" to 34.5" (81.3 to 87.6 cm), weighing 112 lbs (51 kg), He had bad teeth and had a denture.
On 24th July 1915 he left Folkestone for France and apparently with the 8th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. On 31st August 1915 he was admitted to 56 Field Ambulance and then to 18 D.R.S. on 1st September with a septic knee. By 6th October he was in 55 Field Ambulance with a boil. Recovering from this he was then wounded in action on 19th July 1916 and admitted to 13 C.C.P with a gunshot wound to right shoulder and back. On 21st he went to 12 General Hospital, Rouen and three days later admitted to hospital in Etaples. Released to Base Depot 159 Bde on 26th July he returned to Battalion on 10th September 1916.
He was wounded again 16 days later and admitted to 55 Field Ambulance with gunshot wound to fingers of his left hand on 26th September 1916. He went to 14 General Hospital at Wimereux and was placed on H.M.H.S."St David" and evacuated to UK that day.
In UK he had leave, still with wounded hand, back in Euston from 3rd to 12th April 1917. He spent 2from 23rd April to 12th July in hospital). He was then transferred on 31st August 1917 to 22nd Training Battalion before being transferred again on 1st December to the 52nd Gen T Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps.
After transfer to 6th Battalion, Rifle Brigade on 12th February 1918 he left Sheerness for France on 23rd March 1918, reaching Base Depot at Le Havre on 27th and two days later, yet another transfer, this time to the 10th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment. His death on 30th May made this his shortest spell with any unit.
After his death, his father (died 1921) made his mark on the "living relatives form in 1920, giving his parents and 15 year old brother Leonard at Barnham Road, Euston and married sister Christina JACOBS,at 40 Corporation Buildings, Bury St Edmunds.

The war diary of the 10th Cheshires gives:-
"30 Hay- 2am- marched from ROSNAY via GUEUX-CHAUMUZY-NANTEUL-FLEURY-DAMERY ? in FORET D'EPERNAY, S of F in FORET. Arrived 10 pm bivouacked for the night. Rations very short"

The map below shows the approximate route, about 32 miles. CWGC puts the number killed at 19, and only one identified grave. CWGC has his death as 30th May but other Army records have between 27th and 30th May, which considering the confusion at the time is quite understandable. At this time the 25th Division was nearly destroyed, many units were being cobbled together into composite battalions in an attempt to halt the German advance across the Aisne-Marne

The Bury Free Press of 16th September reported:-

Herewith two portraits of two Barnham and Euston lads who have been included in the casualty lists. They are Pvt Bertie Davey, 8th Suffolks,eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. H.Davey, Barnham Road, Euston; and Lc-Cpl Harold Davey, 9th Suffolk, son of Mr.and Mrs,F.Davey of Barnham. Both have served on various periods in the firing line on the Western Frontier, the former being wounded on July 19th, and the latter being reported missing as far back as Sept.1915. The anxious parents of Lc-Cpl Davey would be glad to hear from any comrade who was with him on the day he was reported missing.

The above is confirmed by Bertie's Army records and he was recovered and survived until the last year of the war. Harold(he was actually Frederick, like his father) was presumed to have died on or since 2nd October 1915.

The Bury Free Press of 15th July 1918 reported

It is with deep regret we have to announce that Mr. H.Davey, of Barnham Road, Euston, has received official notification from the War OOffice that his son, Prvt Bertie G.Davey, 51923, Cheshire Regiment, was killed in action in France between 27th and 30th May. Private Davey enlisted at the outbreak of war, and was first wounded in the left shoulder in the taking of Delville Wood on July 21st 1916, receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Rouen. On September 26th in the same year he was again wounded by shrapnel in the left hand in the taking of Thiepval. On being brought to England he was taken to No.2 Southern General Hospital, Bristol, when it was found necessary to amputate one of his finger. He was sent overseas again on March 24th 1918, and it is presumed he met his death while taking part in the great May battle.......

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bertie Davey is commemorated on the Soissons memorial

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details