Keith Whitmee (Barney) Davis

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DAVIS, Keith Whitmee (Barney)

Service no: 4190A [1]

Place of birth: Cargo

Address: Ingle Dell, Avenel Road, via Cargo

Occupation: Farmer

Next of kin: William George Davis (father), Ingle Dell, Avenel Road, via Cargo

Date of enlistment: 18 August 1915

Place of enlistment: Orange

Age at enlistment: 23

Fate: Embarked HMAT Aeneas Sydney 20 October 1915. Disembarked Suez 17 January 1916. Joined 54th Battalion Tel-El-Kebir 16 February 1916. Embarked HT Calendonian Alexandria 19 June 1916. Disembarked HT Calendonian Marseilles 26 June 1916. Wounded in action, suffering a gunshot wound to the neck, admitted to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station, transferred to No 7 Hospital then 3rd Canadian General Hospital, France 21 July 1916. Died of wounds 22 July 1916.

Date of death: 22 July 1916

Buried: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France, Plot 8, Row A, Grave 141

Keith Whitmee Davis was the sixth child of William and Mary Davis of Ingledell, Avenel Road, via Cargo. He attested at Orange on 18 August 1915 and embarked per HMAT Aeneas on 20 October 1915. He joined the 54th Battalion at Tel-El-Kebir in Egypt on 16 February 1916.

Private Keith Whitmee embarked at Alexandria on 19 June 1916, bound for the Western Front. One month later he became one of the 5,533 Australian casualties from the disastrous attack on the heavily defended ‘Sugar Loaf’ Salient at Fromelles. He was wounded in the neck on 21 July 1916 and died the following day at the Canadian Clearing Station from an infection in the wound. He was buried in the Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France, Plot 8, Row A, Grave 141.

Keith’s death was reported in the Leader on 28 July 1916:

Private Davis was one of ten stalwart young fellows who left Orange in August last.
They were tall and of splendid physique, and were known as the "Cranbury ten”,
their appearance attracting general attention as they entrained at the railway station. [2]

The Canowindra Star and Eugowra News on 23 April 1920 reports of a tablet laid by members of the Cranbury Rifle Club in honour of five soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice. Keith Whitmee Davis and his cousin Lance Corporal Harold Ernest Whitmee are two of the soldiers mentioned on the tablet. [3]

Keith Whitmee Davis is remembered on the Cudal District Honour Roll, the Cudal and District War Memorial Gates, the Toogong War Memorial and on panel number 158 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

  • Sharon Jameson and Margaret Nugent, January 2019
Cudal and District War Memorial Gates. Image courtesy Anthony Stavely-Alexander.

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