Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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Date Information
12/07/2018
12/07/2018 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th January 1915: Corporal Johnston’s Christmas - James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
12/07/2018 Lance Corporal John Johnston, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskillings, son of Mr David Johnston, Killymeal, Dungannon, writing to his friends in Dungannon, says that he has had a very merry time at Christmas. He went to Holy Communion at eight o’clock, and saw John McIntyre, Joseph McIntyre and William Dixon (Dickson), all Dungannon boys, there. There was a heavy snow storm on Christmas Day. We all got Princess Mary’s Christmas Box, from which we enjoyed a good smoke. He came across Wingfield Espey (Bush, Dungannon), and was informed that James Davis (Dungannon) was still alive and well. They were all sorry at losing Averall and Devlin, both Dungannon men, reported killed during November, who were very popular in the battalion. He concludes by wishing all the townspeople a New Year, and especially A Company U.V.F., and Mr Bingham, officer commanding and Sergeant Major Whitelaw.
01/07/2018 Corporal James Davis, of the North Irish Horse, has written to his father, Mr James Davis, senior, Barrack Street, Dungannon, under date the 21st December. No communication has been received from him for the past fourteen weeks, so that naturally his family were anxious for his safety. He states that he is now using a rifle belonging to a Derry trooper who had been killed in action in Belgium in the earlier part of the fighting. His squadron had been 250 all told when the landed in France, but within a fortnight they were greatly reduced. During that time some of their lads won the French Legion of Honour for the gallant defence of a town made by a small party of North Irish Horse. They were the rear-guard to a column in retreat from Mons and although the shells were flying thickly and the Germans were about to enter the town, they kept the enemy in check. Three hours afterwards the place was in flames and the Germans were on the march again, but the North Irish Horse had achieved the purpose intended. They were at present attached to headquarters, but he had just heard they were going into active service again and that a squadron was coming out from Ireland to take their place. The South Irish Horse had been sent to the trenches about a month ago and were now near Lille.
01/07/2018
01/07/2018 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 2nd January 1915: French Legion of Honour Conferred - James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
24/05/2018 ‘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.’
24/05/2018 Sergeant Joy Davis, of the 67th Company Army Service Corps, in a letter to his mother, Mrs Davis, Barrack Street, Dungannon, says:-
24/05/2018
24/05/2018 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 31st October 1914:
09/10/2017 From the Tyrone Courier dated 26th April 1917: Dungannon and the U.V.F. Hospital (Samuel J Davis - Brother of Joy Davis)
09/10/2017
09/10/2017 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.
07/01/2017 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.
07/01/2017
07/01/2017 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd November 1916: Samuel Davis (Brother of Joy Davis)
05/01/2017 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.
05/01/2017
05/01/2017 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 12th October 1916: Samuel Davis (Brother of Joy Davis)
16/08/2016 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.
15/06/2016 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd July 1915: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
15/06/2016 Trooper James Davis, North Irish Horse, who has been invalided from Flanders, arrived home at Dungannon on the same evening (Wednesday 30th June).
15/06/2016
03/06/2016 From the Belfast Newsletter dated 1st June 1915: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
03/06/2016 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.
03/06/2016
21/02/2016 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.
21/02/2016 The date on the family gravestone in Dungannon is 27 August 1920, which seems to be incorrect.
21/02/2016
21/02/2016 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.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 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
30/12/2015 The 1911 census shows Joy's family still lived in Barrack Street, Dungannon.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 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.
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30/12/2015 From the Tyrone Courier dated 2 November 1916: James Davis (Brother of Joy Davis)
30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 On the family gravestone, it states Sergeant-Major Joy Davis died of wounds received on active service in France.
30/12/2015 In June 1916, Sergeant-Major Joy Davis was home from the front on sick leave. He was living in Belfast with his wife.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 Sergeant-Major Davis promptly rejoined on the commencement of the war with the Army Service Corps.
30/12/2015 Sergeant-Major Joy Davis, had served on the Army for a number of years, but his period of service had expired.
30/12/2015 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).
30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015 Joy Davis attended Drumglass Boys National School in Dungannon.
30/12/2015 Joy Davis was the eldest son of James and Margaret Davis. Joy was born in Belfast about 1884.
30/12/2015 From the Tyrone Courier dated 8 June 1916
30/12/2015 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).
30/12/2015 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:-
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 3rd June 1916: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
30/12/2015 '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.'
30/12/2015 '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'
30/12/2015 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:
30/12/2015 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd January 1916: James Davis (brother of Joy Davis)
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30/12/2015
30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015 He served in France from 17 August 1914 to 7th April 1915.
30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015
30/12/2015 His discharge papers show his official discharge took place at Aldershot on 3rd November 1915.
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30/12/2015 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.
30/12/2015 The certificate also reveals that Joy Davis died of pulmonary tuberculosis, combined with a secondary contributory condition of heart failure.
30/12/2015 It shows he died at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, Sydney, Australia.
30/12/2015 The official form relating to his widow's pension, reveals his date of death as 2nd September 1920.
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