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Herbert Davies

Rank: Private

Lifetime: 1896-?

The Surrey Comet on [ ]1916 reported the award of a Military Medal (“MM”) to Private Herbert Davies of Hampton Wick. His MM was awarded for gallantry under fire on 1 July 1916, the very first day of the Battle of the Somme.

According to a subsequent report in The Surrey Comet dated 27 April 1918, Private Herbert Davies then in the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry having been transferred from his original regiment, had been wounded in France two weeks before. He had been shot in the neck and was at the date of the newspaper report recovering in a hospital in Bath where he was reported to be doing well.

He had only just returned to France when he was injured. He had previously been at home with his parents Mr Joseph Ruben Davies and Mrs Elizabeth Davies of 42 Park Road, Hampton Wick (now 44 Park Road, Hampton Wick) where he had been recovering from trench fever.

The family had lived in the Park Road property since 1909. At the time of the 1911 Census the family comprised: Private Davies’s parents; his elder brother Joseph William Davies (17), a furniture assistant; an older sister Elizabeth Davies (16); Herbert (15), an errand boy, and his younger sister Florence Davies (12) who was still at school. All the children had been born in Hampton Wick so the family had lived in the village since at least 1894. His parents had both been born in Kingston Upon Thames. They had been married 19 years in 1911- having lost two of their children. His parents may have moved to Hampton Wick shortly after their marriage.

Private Davies’ older brother, Joseph William Davies, was, according to the report in The Surrey Comet, serving in the Army Service Corps at the time Private Davies was wounded.

The first phase of this Project is to gather information about the men commemorated on the Hampton Wick War Memorial who fought in the Great War, also known as World War I, WWI or the First World War.

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