Arthur was born in Padeswood, near Mold in Flintshire on the 12th January 1985. The 1891 Census recorded him living with his family in Padeswood. Head of the household was Robert Davies aged 42, a Station Master who had been born in Tremeirchion. His wife was Elizabeth aged 44 also a native of Tremeirchion. Their listed children were Catherine E 15, Alfred R 13, Thomas H 11, Annie E 9 and Arthur E was 6. The children in this census were all listed as being born in Mold. Although all Robert and Elizabeth’s children were born in the Mold area, they were baptised in Tremeirchion Church
The next census in 1901 records the family living at 8 Grosvenor Street, Mold. Robert Davies was 52 and still a Station Master. Elizabeth his wife was 54. The children at home were Thomas Henry 21 – a Booking Clerk. Catherine E 23 and Annie E 18 and Arthur E were all listed ‘School Stu’ (students?). . This census tells us all the children were born in Padeswood (near Mold).
In 1902 Railway Employment Records for The London and North Western Railway, include an Arthur Edward Davies aged 17 and a half who began a 1 month’s trial in the ‘office’ at 9.00am on the 15th June 1902. He was to be paid 4/-. as an Apprentice and his foreman’s name was Roscoe (I am not 100% sure that this is ‘our’ Arthur Edward Davies but it would make sense. The name, the age and the occupation and the family connections suggest it could be him). There is no place or railway station mentioned
The railway company’s 1906 register of men who had left, been discharged or transferred includes Arthur Edward Davies. It says he was 21 and 5 months old and had worked for the company for 3 years and 11 months when he left voluntarily (with permission) on the 29th June 1906. His time keeping had been satisfactory and his character was ‘Good’. He was still listed as an apprentice when he left but his wage was 15/-. Perhaps the 1911 census gives us a clue as to why he gave his job up. (This however is speculation).
The 1911 Census reveals a big change in this family’s circumstances. They were living at Green Bach, St Asaph. 62 year old Robert Davies was now a Farmer. An employer. His wife of 38 years, Elizabeth was 64. The form tells us that she had given birth to six children and five of them had survived. Arthur Edward Davies was there. He was a single man aged 26 who was described as a Farmer’s son, working on the farm. Also listed on the census was Arthur’s sister, Anne Elizabeth Davies who was 28 and a Head School Mistress at the Council School in Mostyn. In the household was a niece- Gladys Ireland Davies, a single woman aged 22. She had been born in Chester.Three ‘servants’ were named on the form. (David Hughes Davies a Waggoner, Edward Hughes a Cowman and Maggie Hughes a Domestic Servant).
Later that same year in August, in the District of St Asaph, Arthur Edward Davies married Gladys Ireland Davies. (His cousin? See 1911 census) (David Littler Jones in his book says that Arthur was at the time of his marriage, a ‘coal merchant’).
UK Soldiers who died in The Great war 1914 -19 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details at the top of this page. It adds that he had enlisted in London. This source tells us that he was awarded the Military Medal.
Arthur enlisted in the 1st Sportsman’s Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) in March 1915. The 23rd Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers enlisted men who were adept in some branch of a national sport and included many famous sportsmen of the time. They were stationed in Hornchurch and left for France in 1915.
The Regimental Records contain the following extract: (David Littler Jones’s research)
“On May 1st 1917 a composite battalion was formed of two companies of the 23rd Royal Fusiliers and two companies of the 1st Royal Berks, and moved forward to a position in front of Oppy to deliver an attack on the Oppy-Fresnoy line. Attacking on May 3rd,Fresnoy trench was captured with betyween sixty and seventy prisoners and a machine gun. Heavy counter-attacks were made by the Germans during the day, and, in view of these and and the retirement of the troops on the right, it became necessary to retire along Fresnoy trench. At 3.30am, on the night of May3 – 4, the Battalion was relieved by the 15th Warwicks, and moved back to disused enemy trenches in the Roclincourt area, the total casualties sustained being 7 officers and 122 other ranks.”
Lance-Corporal Arthur Edward Davies was one of those killed.
His medal Card (on Ancestry) only lists his three campaign medals (Victory, British War and 1915 Star) and does not mention his Military Medal. It tells us that his first theatre of war was France and he entered it on the 16th November 1915. There is a note that says ‘Death presumed 3/5/ 17’
We would love to know what sport it was that he excelled in to qualify for the Sportsman’s Battalion and why he was awarded the Military Medal.