About Arthur Davies

Arthur Davies was born in 1884, to John and Mary Davies of Penfai, Capel Iwan in Wales. He grew up in the shire of Newcastle Emlyn in Carmarthenshire, Wales. When Arthur was about 24 years old he emigrated to Australia. He worked as a clerk in Kalgoorlie around 1910, but arrived in Broome not long after this.

Broome Connection

In 1910 Arthur Davies leased the lugger Waratah from James Clarke & Co, which was wrecked in the 1910 cyclone. In 1912 Arthur appears on the electoral lists as a storeman in Broome, possibly working for Robison & Norman and H. Sewell. By 1913 he was in the pearling game again, leasing the lugger Daphne in 1913.  By 1914 Arthur must have done well enough in pearling to commission a pearling lugger to be built by W & S Lawrence in Perth. He named the lugger Emlyn Castle in memory of his hometown. Arthur enlisted in Broome, his attestation papers were signed by the Mayor of Broome, W. Clarke- Hall, and his medical examination took place in Broome.

War Service

 Arthur was appointed to the 28th Battalion, A Company, a unit that many other Broome men were in. The 28th Battalion left Fremantle aboard the HMAT Ascanius A11 in July 1915. After arriving at Alexandria and training for a few months, they travelled to Gallipoli, arriving in September. After the evacuation of Gallipoli, the unit proceeded to France and the Western Front in March. As part of the 2nd Division, the 28th Battalion saw its first major action at Pozieres, and it was during this battle that Arthur was wounded and evacuated to the 1/2nd Midland Field Ambulance at Warloy-Baillon, but he died of wounds later that day. 

Pozières : The Battle of the Somme

In July 1916 the 28th Battalion, as part of the 2nd Division was involved in a series of attacks aimed at the capture of key German positions and the wearing down of the enemy. By the 23rd July the 1st & 2nd Division had been successful in capturing the Pozières village despite almost continuous artillery fire and repeated German counter-attacks. A further push to take Pozières heights was planned for the 29th July but the Germans were ready and the attack failed at a cost of 3,500 Australian casualties, including six men from Broome.

We made a charge on the night of Friday July 28th soon after midnight. The various companies went over in a wave. The Germans opened tremendous fire on us with artillery trench mortar, machine gun and every conceivable form of weapon. The men were falling in all directions.

…Jim Hopkins and I are the battalion scouts; it’s a queer job – we crawl about ‘ no-man’s-land ‘ at night, and see that Fritz doesn’t spring any surprises on our front. In some parts here the German trenches are only 50 yards away, and often messages are thrown over in dummy bombs, such as their ‘ North Sea victory’. We had a very heavy bombardment yesterday afternoon, in fact the heaviest shelling I have ever seen, on our position, and that right on the 28th bats. position. It was a great artillery duel, still the infantry man takes the gruel… All the boys wish to be remembered to you and all those who think of us sometimes. Being summer and having fine weather at present everything is looking lovely (bar the German trenches). We have all given up French in despair and find it a lot easier to talk pidgin English. Please excuse terrible scrawl; our dug-outs have their limits and those shells don’t improve the writing.Arthur Davies, to Miss Hilliard June 3rd, 1916

Enlistment Details

Newspaper Articles

Other Online Resources

View Arthur Davies at the National Archives of Australia
View Arthur Davies at the AWM