Published By John Davies
Frederick Harry Davies was born on 12 October 1889 at Oswestry. He was the youngest of 3 children born to David and Mary Davies. Their other children were George and Celia. They lived on Gittins Street. His father was a monumental mason; he would die in January 1893. Around this time Mary, his widow, moved with the family to live at 3 Olwen Terrace, Chapel Street. She continued with the monumental mason business with works on Oswald Road. By 1911 she had moved again to Whaddon House, 5 Holbache Road. By the outbreak of war she had remarried and would go to live in Cheltenham. In about 1910 Frederick went to Canada to work as a sales clerk for the Hudson Bay Company at Calgary.
Frederick enlisted on 23 September 1914 at Valcartier, Quebec – the main army base and camp which almost all Canadian recruits passed through. He was posted as Private 30464 10 Bn Canadian Infantry, Alberta Regiment. He departed for the UK on 3 October 1914, spent 3 months in the UK training and arrived in France on 15 February 1915. He was wounded 3 times. The first time in April 1915 with a GSW to the right arm, the second in June with shrapnel wound. The third time, in June 1916 he was hit in the left arm suffering a compound fracture. At that time he was evacuated to hospital at Tonbridge Wells and then to the Canadian Convalescence Hospital, Woodcote, Surrey. He returned to duty on 17 August 1916 and was posted to 9 Bn (Reserve and Training) Canadian Infantry pending him going forward for a commission. He was commissioned Lieutenant in February 1917 and returned to France on 25 April 17 reporting to 10 Bn CI 5 days later.
Just before leaving for France he had home leave spent at Oswestry. Frederick was also married. It is not known when or where, his wife was Selina (no maiden name found), they had no children. For a time they set up home in Birmingham and later at Reservoir House, Llanforda, after his death Selina returned to Birmingham and later went to live in Stourbridge.
Frederick was KIA on 1 May 1917, 1 day after having joined the battalion. At that time the battalion had just arrived in billets at Mont St Eloi. At 6.00am on 1 May 1917 an enemy bombardment by a 13 inch naval gun began. The first shell hit the battalion HQ, completely destroying it and a small hut occupied by officers and Orderley Room. The area was crowded and casualties were heavy – from the battalion Scout Section 9 men were killed, from the battalion band all, with the exception of 3, were killed, all told 14 ORs were killed and 53 wounded. Frederick, who was asleep at the time, was the only officer casualty. Frederick, and the others, are buried together in Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont St. Eloi. A memorial service for Frederick was held at St Oswald’s Church, officiated by Rev Lutener, where he is also commemorated on the war memorial.