The AIF Project

Gilbert Walter DAVIS

Regimental number5351
Date of birth27 July 1891
Place of birthRiverton, South Australia
SchoolRiverton Public School, Riverton, South Australia
AddressRiverton, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24.6
Height5' 5"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs R Davis, Riverton, South Australia
Previous military serviceTrained in the Australian Light Horse about 1 year.
Enlistment date22 January 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 11 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal (Awarded)

Devotion to duty and personal courage in carrying out rescue work. (East of Ypres 19-22 September 1917)
Recommendation date: 7 October 1917

Other details from Roll of Honour Circular"When we received the news of our sons death it cast quite a gloom over our town. He was great favourite and one of Riverton's best footballers. We were frequently receiving letters from the Front congratulating us on having such a brave son, and of his splendid work as a stretcher bearer. He was loved by all his pals." Details from Mother.
FateKilled in Action 8 October 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Stated to be Gilbert Walter Davis on NR
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Riverton Cemetery, South Australia. Parents: Henry Archibald (d. 14 October 1948, aged 88; bu. Riverton) and Ruth (d. 7 April 1941, aged 75; bu. Riverton) DAVIS, Riverton, South Australia. Photo: Peter Dennis

Military Medal

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 7 March 1918

Other details

War service: Colombo, Ceylon (on guard for six weeks), Egypt, Western Front (awarded the Military Medal, May 1917, Bullecourt)

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSecond given name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as Walker.
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVIS Gilbert Walter

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