James Michael Davey

Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Granville, Westland, New Zealand

Informations générales

Mineur de charbon

Informations service militaire

New Zealand
Force armée:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation date:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 1st Bn.

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Bois du Polygone, Zonnebeke, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Polygon Wood Cemetery
Parcelle: Inconnu
Rangée: F
Tombe: 7

Distinctions et médailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points d'intérêt 3

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement
#3 Lieu du décès ou lieu d'inhumation d'origine

Mon histoire

Rifleman James Michael Davey
James Davey was born on 10 September 1873 at Granville, Totara Flat, Westland, New Zealand to James and Mary Davey. His father was a miner and James junior followed his father’s trade, in this remote coal-mining area. He had an older brother, Jeremiah, born in 1871.
He was working for Daniel Baybutt of Granville, Westland when he enlisted on 6 May 1916 at Trentham. He joined the 16th Reinforcement, training at Trentham and probably Featherston camps. He was in a New Zealand Rifle Brigade reinforcement which departed on 20 August 1916 on the troopship Navua which arrived in Devonport on 24 October 1916.
James only spent a short time at Sling Camp before sailing to France on 15 November. He was posted to B Company, 1st Battalion of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade. He had several counts of misconduct while in the army including seven days field punishment No.2 in May 1917 for being absent without leave.
He was posted to the Railway Construction Gang for a month from 8 January 1917. He also spent a month with a cable laying party from 12 March 1917. The postings may have been because of his age (42 when he enlisted) or for discipline reasons. In October 1917 he spent 10 days at the NZ Reinforcement Camp, so missed the First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October.
The New Zealand Division was in the Polygon Wood area, after the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. Much of the time was spent in wiring, repairing crumbling trenches and improving defences. The landscape was covered with waterlogged shellholes. The opposing German forces generally held higher ground and movement in the New Zealand lines was often observed and shelled or machine-gunned.
The Division relieved the 21st Division from 13th November, when the 3rd (NZ Rifle Brigade) and 4th NZ Infantry Brigades took over the front line. On 1st December the NZ Rifle Brigade relieved the 4th Infantry Brigade in the Becelaere Sector, with the 1st Battalion ( Roy’s unit) relieving the 3rd Otago Battalion. The brigade headquarters was at the Polygon Butte.
On 3 December part of 2nd Brigade attacked Polderhoek Chateau, with limited success and heavy casualties. The brigade history does not offer much detail on this period so it is difficult to say how James Davey died on 7 December 1917. There were heavy snow storms during the time. The Rifle Brigade was relieved on the night of 9/10 December. During December 42 men of the brigade were killed, in a time of limited fighting.
Along with other men of his unit, James Davey was buried in Polygon Wood cemetery. He is in Row F, Grave 7.

Sources 5

"The official history of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (The Earl of Liverpool's Own)", Austin, WL., Wellington, L.T. Watkins, 1924, pg. 255-258.
Sources utilisées
Archives New Zealand
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Auckland Cenotaph
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New Zealand births deaths marriages
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