Joy Davis was the eldest son of James and Margaret Davis. Joy was born in Belfast about 1884. Joy Davis attended Drumglass National School. He had served on the Army for a number of years, but his period of service had expired. Sergeant-Major Davis promptly rejoined on the commencement of the war with the Army Service Corps. He was married to Cicely with two children and lived in Belfast. On his gravestone, it states Sergeant-Major Joy Davis died of wounds received on active service in France. He was interred in Sydney Australia on 27 August 1920. The CWGC details of Sergeant-Major Joy Davis cannot be located.
Joy Davis was the eldest son of James and Margaret Davis. Joy was born in Belfast about 1884.
Joy Davis attended Drumglass Boys National School in Dungannon.
Joy Davis enlisted in Belfast on 22nd October 1900. He stated his age as 18 years and two months, which would give his date of birth as August 1882. He was working as a stone cutter. He had already served the local militia. He enlisted with the Army Service Corps for twelve years, three years in the Army and nine years in the Army Reserve.
The 1901 census does not list Joy as living with the family at house 26 in Barrack Street, Dungannon, Tyrone. His father was a marble mason.
Family: James Davis, Margaret Davis, Margaret Davis (born about 1880), Mary Davis (born about 1882), Martha Davis (born about 1886), Nellie Davis (born about 1888), James Davis (born about 1890), Emma Davis (born about 1891), Annie Davis (born about 1892), Samuel Davis (born about 1894), Lucy Davis (born about 1896).
By the time of the 1911 census Joy had returned from England, married to Cicely Sophia. Joy Davis was working as a Monumental Stonecutter. They were also living in Barrack Street
Joy and Cicely had three children, Joseph George Davis (born 14 March 1907), Cicely Doris Davis (born 28 November 1909) and Marjorie May Davis (born 17 June 1914).
The 1911 census shows Joy's family still lived in Barrack Street, Dungannon.
Sergeant-Major Joy Davis, had served on the Army for a number of years, but his period of service had expired.
Sergeant-Major Davis promptly rejoined on the commencement of the war with the Army Service Corps.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 31st October 1914:
Sergeant Joy Davis, of the 67th Company Army Service Corps, in a letter to his mother, Mrs Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, says:-
‘I am sure you are wondering how I am getting on out here, and I hope you will forgive me for not writing before, but we are continually on the move after the Germans and don’t get very much chance, and when we do write, we can’t tell you where we are or what we are doing as all the letters etc. are read over by our own officers and then signed by them to see that we don’t mention the names of any of the places or what is happening. We are certainly worrying our enemies and doing our very best to wipe them out. There are a few of our fellows in hospital, but I am glad to say I am in luck’s way and still keeping safe and sound, but of course we all have to take our chances. We are having plenty of excitement and exercise dodging about. We are with the Indian column now and will soon make a big move ahead. I am glad to tell you I am promoted to sergeant now, and is great to be back in the army again.’
He served in France from 17 August 1914 to 7th April 1915.
A 'Chelsea' Pension report dated 6th May 1915 makes grim reading for Joy. The tuberculosis originated in France in February 1915. Symptoms included bad cough, vomiting owing to cough (tuberculosis laryngitis). It describes his condition as permanent and having total incapacity.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 1st June 1915: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
Corporal James Davis, North Irish Horse, has intimated to his father, Mr James Davis senior, Dungannon, that he has invalided home with an attack of fever and is now in Moorfield Military Hospital, Glossop.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd July 1915: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
Trooper James Davis, North Irish Horse, who has been invalided from Flanders, arrived home at Dungannon on the same evening (Wednesday 30th June).
His discharge papers show his official discharge took place at Aldershot on 3rd November 1915.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd January 1916: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
Trooper James Davis, North Irish Horse, who is one of three brothers serving with the colours, has returned to duty to Belgium after his recent illness. In a letter to his father, Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, he says:
'I suppose you will be a little surprised that I am again writing to you from the front. We have at last got away with it after all, and just as I suggested in my last letter. We came the same route as before and landed at the same place, and I knew almost everywhere we passed, owing to having gone their before. I am now in tip top form and fit for anything. I believe my brother Sam is in the London Irish. We are doing well considering that all three of us are now serving'
In June 1916, Sergeant-Major Joy Davis was home from the front on sick leave. He was living in Belfast with his wife.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 3rd June 1916: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
Trooper James Davis, N.I.H., in a long letter to his father, Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, comments on the recent Dublin rising. He had visited Hack McCrae and found him well. His regiment are now all together and under the command of Lord Cole of Enniskillen. He also refers to Troopers McManus Dungannon and Bradley, Moy, and 'all the old Cookstown lot.' He acknowledges receipt of a birthday present and concludes:-
'Glad to hear that business is good and all are well at home. Sorry I can't tell you exactly where we are, as we are not allowed, but a place west of Arras, beginning with the first letter of my second name and ending with the last letter of same name of as our pretty neighbour who lived below us at home. Let us know if you can catch it up.'
From the Tyrone Courier dated 8 June 1916
The three sons of Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, are all serving with his Majesty's forces. The eldest son, Sergeant-Major Joy Davis, Army Service Corps, had served on the Army for a number of years, but his period of service had expired and he promptly rejoined on the commencement of the war, and is at present home from the front in Belfast (where his wife resides) on sick leave. The next son, Trooper James Davis, North Irish Horse, had joined the North Irish Horse some time before the war, and was called up in August 1914 and is at present in active service in France with his regiment. The youngest son, Private Samuel Joseph Davis, London Irish Rifles, volunteered in Belfast he had been working last Christmas, and he is stationed in Winchester and expects to be going to the front shortly.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 12th October 1916: Samuel Davis (Brother of Joy Davis)
Private Samuel Davis, London Regiment, wounded on 3rd October, is the youngest son of Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon. He was formerly in business in Belfast, and volunteered from the ranks of the Belfast U.V.F.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd November 1916: Samuel Davis (Brother of Joy Davis)
Rifleman Samuel Davis, London Irish Rifles, has had his right leg amputated in Huddersfield Hospital owing to wounds received in action on 3rd October, is the younger son of Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon. He was in business in Belfast when he volunteered from the ranks of the U.V.F.
In a report in the Tyrone Courier dated 2 November 1916, it states Joy has been invalided home and 'sent' to Australia by the Government. It is almost certain that his tuberculosis was the reason for this.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 2 November 1916: James Davis (Brother of Joy Davis)
Mr James Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, has received intimation that his youngest son, Private Samuel J Davis, London Irish Rifles, was wounded on 1st October and as a result , has had one of his legs amputated at the knee. A letter received from him on Tuesday indicates that he is progressing favourably. Private Davis volunteered for service in Belfast (where he had been in business) at Christmas 1915, and is one of three brothers who have served in the present war. The eldest brother, Joy, has been invalided home and sent to Australia by the Government, and the other brother, James, is serving with the North Irish Horse.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 26th April 1917: Dungannon and the U.V.F. Hospital (Samuel J Davis - Brother of Joy Davis)
Rifleman Samuel J Davis, writing home from the U.V.F. Hospital, Belfast, after returning from his weekend visit to Dungannon, says that when he approached his bed, he noticed by a card placed at its head that it was ‘In Memorial’ to the late Mr Francis Hale, J.P., Dungannon, a sum of 50 pounds having been given for this benevolent and patriotic purpose by Mrs Hale, one of several such gifts by Mrs and Miss Hale for war purposes. There is another bed through the generosity of Mr James Dickson, J.P., ‘In Memorial’ to Captain Tillie Dickson, Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1st July 1916, while another owes its existence to the generous gift of Messrs Stevenson and Sons. The matron is Miss Johnston, a daughter of Ronald Johnston, Northland Row, Dungannon. There are 35 beds in this ‘Roberts’ ward, all being occupied by limbless soldiers at present. It may be added that Mrs Hale was among the visitors to the hospital last week.
The official form relating to his widow's pension, reveals his date of death as 2nd September 1920.
It shows he died at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, Sydney, Australia.
In 1915, during the First World War the hospital was converted by the NSW Government into a military hospital and then a repatriation hospital, and renamed the Fourth Australian Repatriation Hospital.
The certificate also reveals that Joy Davis died of pulmonary tuberculosis, combined with a secondary contributory condition of heart failure.
Sergeant-Major Davis was interred in Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney, Australia. According to recently discovered records, he was buried in Ind. Section H, Grave No 1949.
On the family gravestone, it states Sergeant-Major Joy Davis died of wounds received on active service in France.
The date on the family gravestone in Dungannon is 27 August 1920, which seems to be incorrect.
Joy was one of three sons of who served. Trooper James Davis, North Irish Horse, had joined the North Irish Horse some time before the war, and was called up in August 1914. Private Samuel Joseph Davis, London Irish Rifles, volunteered in Belfast he had been working.
Thanks to some fantastic work by Phillip Tardif, Joy Davis's details have been added to the CWGC and his name has been inscribed on the Sydney Memorial in Rookwood Cemetery. Philip maintains the website www.northirishhorse.com.au, and has recently published a book, The North Irish Horse in the Great War.
The CWGC have added this to their website:- Recent research has shown that Private Davis is buried here; arrangements are being made to mark his grave.