Monday, 29 June 2015

Davison, Harry - Private (50234)

(No soldier photo available)
17th Battalion,
The King's (Liverpool Regiment),
Killed in Action,
31st July 1917,
Age 29,
Commemorated Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

Harry Davison was born in Rising Bridge, Haslingden on 5 August 1888. He was the son of William & Mary Ellen Davison of 633, Blackburn Road, Rising Bridge and was baptised at St. James Church, Haslingden on 16 September 1888. In 1901 Harry was living at 635, Blackburn Road, Acre with his parents, brothers John W, James, William, Herbert and Walter and sister Mary. At this time, at the age of 12, he was employed as a warehouse boy. On 12 December 1914 he married Sarah Taylor (the sister of Private William Taylor) at St. John’s Church, Stonefold. At this time Harry was working as a cotton operative in one of the local mills. Harry and Sarah had one daughter, Martha, who was born 17 September 1916 and baptised at Stonefold Church on 1 October 1916. Harry and Sarah lived at Top O’ the Bank, Roundhill, at this time and his occupation was that of a carter, so presumably he had not yet joined the army. Harry Davison originally joined the East Lancashire Regiment (formerly 37996) but later transferred to the 17th battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment. He was reported missing, presumed dead, on 31 July 1917 after the Battle of Passchendaele  (3rd  Battle of Ypres). He was 29 years of age. Harry’s brother, James Davison had previously died of wounds, near Oppy on 15 May 1917. He is also on Stonefold War memorial. Private Harry Davison is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.

"The 17th Kings (Liverpool Regiment) took part in a supporting action on the night of the British Fifth Army's assault on the opening day of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele).
In the early hours of 31 July the Battalion moved into assembly positions immediately east of Maple Copse, near Sanctuary Wood. At 5 am they moved to their forward positions where they were heavily shelled and suffered many casualties. At 5.20 am the whole of the Fifth Army moved forward into battle.
At 7.30 am the Battalion moved forward in artillery formation all the while under heavy German shell fire. When they arrived at a point known as Stirling Castle they received reports that the troops in front of them were held up so they continued their advance with the idea of reinforcing them and carrying forward with the leading troops.
The Battalion then discovered no British troops were in front of them. However, they pushed on until forced to stop. They dug in and held on to the ground won in spite of very heavy shelling from the German forward guns. Any forward movement was at once stopped by very active German machine gun fire. It was then considered that further attacks would be useless. By then it was nightfall and rain was falling incessantly. After two days in a sea of mud and water, in which wounded men drowned, and constantly under fire, the Battalion was relieved.
Pte. Davison was one of 82 men killed and 202 wounded during that period. His body was never found. His name, therefore, is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
It is very likely that Pte. John William Haworth and Harry Davison joined the East Lancashire Regiment together as both enlisted at Haslingden and their numbers are fairly close. It is also possible they were both wounded in a previous action and transferred to the 17th King's (Liverpool Regiment) together. If so, it is particularly tragic that both were killed in the same action".
From – Bill Turner’s Book. 
If Harry Davison and John William Haworth had been buried in known graves they would have had the special Liverpool Pals Badge on their graves. The 17th King’s Liverpool Regiment was one of the six Pals Battalions formed by the Earl of Derby, which, instead of having the King’s Liverpool badge on their caps, were given Lord Derby’s coat of arms instead. The gravestone shown below shows the badge of the 17th King’s Liverpool Regiment.