William had been married and although he had lost his wife in 1915, he left a boy, Willie, aged 16 and a daughter aged 6 years.
A letter from his Lieutenant Colonel advised, ‘... he had been shot through the head and killed on the spot...’
A captain later wrote to his son Willie and explained, ‘... He was observing fire from their battery from a place close to the front line trench when a shrapnel bullet hit him in the forehead and killed him...’.
See page 93
Lieutenant W J Davies
Royal Field Artillery 70th Brigade
Killed in Action in France on November 5th, 1916
Buried at Warlencourt Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais,
William was born in about 1877 to George and Annie Davies. The family lived in 25, Church Street, Brecon in 1881, and George worked as a drayman. By 1891, the family had moved to 1, Free Street, Brecon, which was to remain the family home for many years.
William was educated at Dr Coke's Memorial School under Mr. D Fisher. At the age of 16 years, he joined the Royal Field Artillery as a driver and completed 21 years’ service in December 1914, when he was a sergeant major.
He twice served in India, spending 12 years in total in that country. He had the India Frontier Medal with two bars, along with the long service medal. He volunteered for active service at the outbreak of war and was promoted to second lieutenant in December 1914 and then lieutenant and adjutant in 1915.
One of his sisters, Mrs W J G Wotton of the Kings Arms Hotel, Brecon, had previously lost her stepson, James Phillip Arthur James of the South Wales Borderers, in action in 1914¹º.