Private 201356 Levi Davies

Killed in Action on Friday, 13th April 1917, age 30.
Commemorated on Pier and Face 5 A and 6 C of Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.

1st/7th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 144th Brigade of 48th Division.
Formerly 3572 1/7th Worcesters Regiment.

Born: Brierley Hill, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/755862/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Levi Davies registered June quarter 1886 in Stourbridge.

1901 Census
34 Blewitt Street, Pensnett, Kingswinford, Staffs.
John Davies (40, Quarry Labourer, born Brierley Hill), his wife Harriet (42, born Brierley Hill), and their 7 children: Ada (18, Seed Sorter, born Brierley Hill), Levi (14, Iron Worker, born Brierley Hill), Major (13, Coal Miner, born Brierley Hill), Spencer (10, born Brierley Hill), Frank (9, born Brierley Hill), Wilfred (7, born Brierley Hill) and Floss (1, born Brierley Hill).

from Ancestry tree: married Caroline Mocroft 28th July 1906 in Pensnett Parish Church.

1911 Census
17 Blewitt Street, Pensnett, Kingswinford, Staffs. (2 Rooms)
Levi Davies (24, Labourer in Glass Works, born Pensnett), his wife Caroline (23, born Pensnett), and their two children: Percy William (3, born Pensnett) and Florence May (1, born Pensnett).

Personal Data

Levi's surname is spelt as Davies by Commonwealth War Graves, 'Soldiers Died in the Great War', and the Tipton Herald. It is spelt as Davis on the Tipton Library Memorial only.

Levi's widow, Caroline, received his outstanding army pay of £1/4/2d (1 pound 4 shillings and 2 pence)in August 1917, and then his War Gratuity of £8/10/0d (8 pounds and 10 shillings) in October 1919. A calculation based on Levi's date of death and the value of his War Gratuity suggests that he enlisted in approximately March/April 1915. This ties in with the Newspaper Cutting below.

Action resulting in his death

During March and April 1917 the 1/7th Worcesters, as part of 48th (South Midland) Division, were involved in the "Advance to the Hindenburg Line". The Hindenburg Line was the new German defensive system, built since August 1916, intended to form an impregnable line some miles behind the Somme battlefield of 1916.

The 48th Division had advanced east from Peronne, and on the 1st April had captured the town of Epehy. By the evening of the 12th April the 1/7th Worcesters were in the front line between Ronssoy and Hagricourt.
At 4.00am on the morning of 13th April the 1/7th Worcesters, along with the 1/4th Gloucesters, attacked across thick snow beneath a full moon and captured the ridge running south from Le Sart Farm to Malakoff Farm. In the words of Stacke's 'Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War' - "a gratifying little success". 

This "gratifying little success", however, cost the lives of 13 men from the 1/7th Worcesters and 9 men from the 1/4th Gloucesters. The Worcesters casualties included Levi Davies and Harry Walton; neither man has a known grave and both are commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 20th March 1915
The following is a list of recruits who have passed the doctor since the opening of the Special Recruiting Office in High Street, Dudley, up to 5 o'clock on Thursday.
  Harry Collins, Ralph Maydon
  A Sid Gough, Levi Davies, Sam Martin, Harry Lester.

Birmingham Daily Post 14th May 1917
WORCESTERSHIRE REGIMENT- Davies, 201356, L., (Tipton).