Herbert Garstine Davies and his younger brother William Arthur Gordon Davies are not named on the Bodelwyddan memorial. However, the Flintshire Roll of Honour in the County Record office in Hawarden, includes an index card for each of them. These cards were filed with all the other Bodelwyddan cards. We therefore include them here on this website.
Herbert Garstine Davies was born in 1894. His story is complex because he served in the army as Robert Davies.
The 1901 Census on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Davies family was living in Sandy Cottage, Cyfoeth-y-Brenin, Cardinganshire. The household comprised of Head, Thomas Davies age 43, born in Llandeilo, Monmouthshire of English descent, a Fishmonger by trade. His wife Alice Rose age 34 was born in Melbourne, Australia.Their listed children were, Francis Gertrude 10, Herbert Garstine 7, Thomas Stanley 4, Sarah Doris 3, and William Gordon was 1. Jane Williams, 18 was a Servant.
The 1911 Census shows the Davies family living at 72 Court Street, Madeley, Salop. Thomas Davies was 52 and was a Butcher. His wife of 22 years Alice Rose was 43. The form tells us that she had given birth to ten children, all of whom were still living. Those recorded on the census were, Francis Gertrude 20, Sarah Doris 13, William Arthur Gordon 11, George Belman 8, James Percy 6, Richard Sydney 5, Howard Leslie 2, and Earnest Motague was 7 months old. Also in residence was Mrs Sarah Davies, Widow, ( Thomas Davies’s Mother) was 89 and a retired Farmer. Herbert Garstine was not living with his family and unfortunately I cannot locate him on the 1911 Census.
We know from records that this family moved again – to Wavertree in Liverpool where they ran a family butchers.
Herbert Garstine Davies, enlisted with the name Robert Davies into the 1st/10th Battalion The King’s (Liverpool Regiment) 55th Division (West Lancashire) in Liverpool on 9th November 1914. His Army Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk
His Attestation papers give his address as 55, High Street Wavertree , Liverpool. The records name his father, Thomas Davies as his next of kin. Thomas Davies’s address was also 55 High Street Wavertree.
“Robert” Davies underwent a medical assessment before signing his attestation papers. The medical form tells us he was 20 years and 355 days old and his trade was ‘Butcher’. He was 5ft 5 inches tall, weighed 140 lbs, had a chest measurement of 37 inches with an expansion range of 4 inches. His physical development was good. He was deemed fit to serve.
He was allocated to the 10th (Scottish) Bttn of the King’s Liverpool Regiment with the regimental number 3988.
He served ‘At Home’ from the 9th November 1914 until the 11th February 1915. (Training)
He joined the British Expeditionary Force in France from the 12th February 1915. He got into a bit of bother on the 11th November 1915. A conduct sheet recorded that he had been ” found drinking coffee in a private house at about 10.50.” For this crime he was fined seven day’s pay.
He was Killed in Action on 9th August 1916 on the Somme. His Army service records include some ludicrous army speak.
“Discharged in consequence of being killed in action.”
Herbert’s father, Thomas, wrote a letter to Army Records on 26th August 1916. The letter was on headed business notepaper.
T H Davies and Sons
Fish, Game and Poultry Salesmen
English and Foreign Fruiterers
Licensed Dealers in Game
2, High Street, Wavertree
Will you kindly rectify the name of my late son which should be Herbert G Davies. Also please note my change of address.
He received a reply from Army Records in Preston dated 30th August 1916
Attached please find Army Form B 104.82 rectified as to name requested.
Can you inform me please if your late son enlisted under the name of Robert as this is the surname recorded on his original attestation
Thomas Davies replied to Army Records
I am not aware that my late son HG Davies 3988 enlisted in any other name than his correct one. He enlisted at ______ Street in November 1914. Also his other brothers are in the same regiment.
T H Davies.
In 1919, The Army required that a form be completed, naming the living relatives of the deceased soldier Herbert G Davies/Robert Davies. Thomas Davies completed the form on the 10th November 1919. This finally gives us the connection with the St Asaph/Bodelwyddan areas. The family was recorded all living at the same address in the parish of Bodelwyddan – Pen Isa, Glascoed, St Asaph – as follows …
Father Thomas Davies
Mother Alice Rose Davies
Full Blood Brothers
Thomas Stanley 23
George Belman 17,
Thomas Percy 15,
Richard Sydney 13,
Howard Leslie 11.
Full blood sisters
Francis Gertrude 28
Sarah Doris 22.
Herbert Garstine Davies/Robert Davies was awarded the 1915 War Medal, The British War Medal and the Victory Medal. (Medal Rolls and Index Medal Card on Ancestry.co.uk.)
Herbert Garstine Davies is listed as Robert Davies on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Data base. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 1D8B and 8C as Robert Davies.
The following information is extracted from The Long Long Trail
1916 The Division began to concentrate in the Hallencourt area on 3 January and was completed by 27 January. The Division relieved the French 88th Division south of Arras – in the area Wailly – Bretencourt – by 16 February. Trench warfare commenced, with many raids and minor operations. On 17 April 1916, a large scale raid was undertaken by the 1/8th (Irish) Bn, the King’s (Liverpool), in which 2/Lt E. F. Baxter became the Division’s first winner of the Victoria Cross. In this relatively “quiet” period before the Division moved into the Battle of the Somme, it nonetheless suffered casualties of 63 officers and 1047 men killed, wounded or missing. Relieved by 11th (Northern) Division on 25 July 1916, the 55th now moved south and took up a place in the front line opposite the village of Guillemont. It then remained in France and Flanders and took part in the following engagements:
The Battle of Guillemont (4-6 September)
The Battle of Ginchy (9 September)
There is a Public Member Family Tree in the name of The Davies Family on Ancestry.co.uk