Herory Davies on Memorial. He was named Henry but always known as Harry. Somehow on the Memorial his two names merged to produce the wonderful Herory.
Harry (Henry ‘Herory’) was born in 1887 and was the son of Harriet and Joseph Davies. The 1911 census records this family living at 13 Haroby Road in Mold. The head of the household was Joseph 60, a Boot Maker. His wife of 38 years Harriet was 57. She had given birth to 11 children, nine of whom had survived. The (by then grown up) children listed on the form as living at home were Henry 24, Alfred 23 and William A 21 – they all worked in the colliery.
UK Soldiers who Died in The Great war 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental details above and adds that he enlisted in Flint. This source tells us he ‘died of wounds’ in Gallipoli. Harry’s medal card also accessible on ‘ancestry.co.uk’ confirms his medal details and tells us that Harry’s first theatre of War was The Balkans and he entered it on the 8th August 1915. Six days later he was dead.
There is an index card for Harry in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Record Office in Hawarden. The address given was 7 Conway St Mold. It was signed by his wife Beatrice Davies.
Joseph Davies, Harry’s brother, survived the war but was wounded.
The following item was a newspaper cutting that has survived in the family. Unfortunately we don’t know which newspaper or the date it appeared. The quality is poor so we have transcribed it below.
The Battle of The Aisne
Cpl J Davies of Mold, Describes Impressions of the Fighting.
Terrible Shell Fire. German’s Accurate Range
Mr and Mrs J Davies of 7 Conway Street Mold, have received an interesting letter from their son, Corporal J Davies, The King’s Regiment who was hit in the mouth by a piece of a shell during the battle of Aisne and afterwards invalided home. Writing from the 1st Southern General Military Hospital Birmingham. Corporal Davies says,
“On Monday September the 14th the first day of The Battle of Aisne we were under heavy German shell fire when a piece of shell hit me right in the mouth and broke my teeth.
In the firing line we are fed mostly on biscuits and they are terribly hard. I used to manage the biscuits all right before my teeth were broken but afterwards I was sickened. At any rate I did not give way. I remained in the trenches from September 14th until September 22nd on bully beef with the exception of two days when I had a little bread.
TRENCHES HALF FULL OF WATER
It was doing nothing but rain. Our trenches were half full of rain and we had to stick in them night and day. I was at last carried in a weak state to hospital. That is how I am in England now but I am pleased to say that I am getting quite strong again. I have been recommended for a new set of teeth and when I get them I will be off to the front again. I was in hospital in St Nazaire, France a fortnight and then I was told I would have to go back to England. We landed in Southampton 8.00 o clock on Thursday night but we did not land ashore till 8,00am on Friday morning.
Our regiment has suffered very heavy losses. 20 of our officers fell 287 men were killed and wounded. Out of my section of 12 men there are only 3 left. 3 were killed outright and 6 wounded.
HAIL OF SHELLS
It is almost a miracle that I am alive to tell you this for the German shells were dropping like hailstones. The Germans know every inch of the ground. They have the ranges to the inch. Of course we can only expect this because where they are fighting along the Ainse is where the Germans beat the French in 1870″. Corporal Davies adds a list of the battles in which his battalion has taken part. Includes Mons, Reims, L****** and the Ainse.
Delighted to be able to report that family member Keely Ball made contact and helped us to sort out some of our confusion. She tells us that Henry (Herory) Davies was always known as Harry. His parents were Harriet and Joseph Davies of Conway Street in Mold.
Harry had married Lily Beatrice (known as Beattie) Williams of Rhos Ddu on the 21st October 1911 in Mold. Their first child Violet Maud Davies was born in 1912 and died in 1919. Their second child was also named Harry. Beatrice never remarried after husband Harry was killed in action. She lived with her son Harry until her death in 1987. Her son Harry died in 2008. Beatrice, Harry and Violet Maud are all buried together in Wrexham.
Harry’s brother, Joseph Davies was Keely’s grandfather. Joseph as we saw from his letter above, was shot in the mouth, spent time in France and then returned to Mold as the first man back and wounded from the war. Joseph’s wife was Lily and she often talked to family members about how astonished she was to go to the train station to find the town band and the town men carrying him on their shoulders.
Joseph and Harriet Davies had another son William Arthur Davies who is also listed on the Mold Memorial.
Many thanks to Keely for excellent information including Joseph’s letter home as well as the fabulous photographs on this page.