The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (58) Lance Corporal George Francis Davies, 27th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Albert Bapaume Area, Pozieres Area, Pozieres
Accession Number AWM2016.2.94
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 3 April 2016
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Michael Kelly, the story for this day was on (58) Lance Corporal George Francis Davies, 27th Battalion, AIF, First World War.

** Due to technical issues this recording is of poor quality and not for public display. **

Speech transcript

58 Lance Corporal George Francis Davies, 27th Battalion, AIF
DOW 8 August 1916
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 3 April 2016

Today we remember and pay tribute to Lance Corporal George Francis Davies.

George Davies was born on 2 June 1890, the second son of William and Harriet Davies of Adelaide. His father was a well-established land agent and a staunch Methodist. George attended Adelaide High School, and later worked as a clerk for the Commissioner of Public Works Office. He studied for his Bachelor of Arts in the evenings, and was a member of both the A and B cricket teams at Adelaide University. He was musically inclined and an active member of the Orpheus Society, which had been giving regular concerts in Adelaide since 1888. Like his father, George was a Methodist, and took a great interest in the Spicer Memorial Church and School.

George Davies was the first of four brothers to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force, doing so in February 1915. He was posted to the 27th Battalion and underwent a period of training in Australia before being sent to Egypt. After further training he was sent to Gallipoli, where he served for nearly three months before being evacuated with jaundice. He spent several weeks recovering in a hospital in Malta.

Private Davies returned to his battalion in Egypt in March 1916, and shortly afterwards departed for France. Soon after his arrival he became ill, this time with a badly infected foot, and again went to hospital to recover. He returned to the battalion at the beginning of July, and a month later was promoted to lance corporal.

Days after Lance Corporal Davies’s promotion, the 27th Battalion went into the front line near the French village of Pozières On 5 August 1916
the battalion attacked and captured part of the OG Lines, and a German strongpoint known as the Windmill. In the process of doing so, the battalion suffered considerable casualties.

One of those wounded was Lance Corporal George Francis Davies, who received shell wounds to his abdomen and right arm. He was evacuated to the 13th Australian Field Ambulance but died of his wounds three days later.

George Davies’s brother John was killed the following year. Back home, their father requested the following epitaph for the grave of his second eldest son: “nor dead, nor sleeping, he lives on”. Lance Corporal Davies was 26 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, among more than 60,000 Australians who died during the First World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Lance Corporal George Francis Davies, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Meleah Hampton
Historian, Military History Section