Devoran war memorial, names A to J , First World War
William John Trebilcock Davey, 26424 10 Battalion, DCLI died aged 21 on 28 July 1916. He is remembered on pier & face panel 6B of the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme battlefields of 1916-17 who have no known graves.
W.J.T. Davey has no known grave and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial. (Image: http://www.cwgc.org.uk website)
CWGC records list him as the son of Joseph Henry Webber Davey and Catherine Ada Davey of Carnon Creese, Perranwell Station, Cornwall. His father Joseph (b. 1871,Kea) was an “engraver & carver in stone” (1901 census) or “monumental mason” (1911 census). His mother Catherine was born in Feock.
W J T Willie Davey in DCLI uniform (image from Tony Dyson’s 2007 research)
William is listed as a (Domestic) Gardener in the 1911 census living with parents at Carnon Crease.
Carnon Downs Methodist Chapel has a plaque to ‘Willie’ Davey, Chorister of this church:
Plaque in Carnon Downs Methodist Chapel to Willie W J T Davey (Image: Tony Dyson)
William was born in July 1895, one of five children, all born in Feock. His older sister Laura Gwendoline (1 April 1893 – June 1986) became a dressmaker and married in 1920 a local surviving DCLI soldier from Kew, Sherold A.E. Datson (1890 -1981). His younger sister Enid Irene was born around 1900. Younger brothers Gerald Ewart Davey (b.1902) and Joseph Henry Webber Davey (junior) born 1909.
William John Dunstan, 2352/ST, Engineman, Royal Naval Reserve, HM Trawler Pintail, died aged 45 on 24 December 1917. He is buried in plot 40.3.5 Brest Kerfautras Cemetery, Finisterre, France (mostly an American naval and army cemetery).
William Dunstan’s grave in Brest Kerfautras Cemetery, France (Image copyright: TWGPP / CWGC, the War Graves Photographic Project)
Pintail was a Hull trawler H982 , built 1908 and wrecked off Ireland in 1949. In October 1914 she was requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (armed with 1 x 12 Hotchkiss pdr, 1 x 6pdr HA ) (Ad.No382). and moved to Penzance and Falmouth. (Ad.No.382). By 1st October 1918 she was at Penzance (General Patrol and Escort work). By 12 March 1919, Pintail had been returned to her owner at Hull. There is more about the naval war and minesweepers off the Cornish coast in Pete London’s book Cornwall in the First World War (Truran, 2013)
The CWGC website lists him as husband of Juliana Dunstan of 6 Chapel Terrace, Devoran. Juliana was born in 1871 in Truro. The couple married in 1903 and had two children, both born in Devoran, Florence May Dunstan (b. 1905) and William Edwin Kean Dunstan (b. 1907).
William was born in Hayle, Phillick (Phillack?) in Cornwall in 1874. In the 1911 census he is listed as “Fireman Steamship” living at Chapel Terrace, Devoran.
In the 1901 census he is a single 26 year old man, a fireman aboard the Steamship Erimus. This boat is frequently pictured in Ralph and Marie Bird’s book of Devoran and Its River a history in photographs, photographed alongside Devoran Quay where no such large boat could visit today as the river has silted up.
Pictures of Erimus amongst other ships can be seen in the Barry Simpson collection amongst others on the Restronguet Creek Society website, as well as http://cornishmemory.com/item/BRA_MI_044
Several other Devoran sailors are listed aboard the Steamship Erimus on 1901 census night. Its master James Henry Rowe, aged 43, was born in Devoran c. 1858. The Engineer was Thomas Mills Williams, born Devoran c. 1848. The AB was James Hitchens, born Devoran c. 1865 and the father of another Devoran First World War casualty James Edwin Hitchens (died Arras,1917), – see below – listed along with William Dunstan on the Devoran War Memorial.
J or J.E. Hitchens
James Edwin Hitchens, Able Seaman R/510, Hawke Battalion, Royal Naval Division RNVR, died during the Arras offensive in 18 April 1917 aged 28. He has no known grave and is remembered on Bay 1 of the Arras Memorial.
Land bound sailor J.E.Hitchens was killed at the Battle of Arras and has no known grave, remembered on the Arras Memorial (Image: http://www.cwgc.org.uk website)
Born at Carnon Mine 20 May 1888, James Edwin Hitchens was a ‘Mining Engine Driver‘ on the 1911 census. His brother William was a Railway Engine Stoker. His father James Hitchens was born in Feock and worked as a Mariner on a Steamship (see Erimus and W. J. Dunstan above). His father James married Mary Hitchens (b. Carnon Downs) in 1890 and they had 8 surviving children including James Edwin Hitchens out of nine births. The family lived at Carclew Terrace, Devoran.
The Royal Naval Division which Hitchens joined was composed in 1914 largely of surplus reserves of the Royal Navy who were not required at sea and some Royal Marines who fought on land as infantry troops. They fought at Gallipolli in 1915 and throughout the Western Front from 1916 onwards.
A Royal Naval Division database shows that Hitchens Joined the Army Reserve on 1st March 1916, entered the Army on 1st December 1916, was drafted for the BEF on 6th March 1917 and joined the Hawke battalion on 3rd April 1917. He is listed as an Engine Driver ; born Devoran, Cornwall 20 June 1888 ; Next-of-Kin & home address: Father, James, Carclew Terrace, Devoran, Cornwall. He was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
The Hawke Battalion. War Diary for 18 April 1917 mentions his death:
“During the day a heavy bombardment took place on our Front & Support Lines. Guns of all calibres but mainly 5.9s. Six men killed and 12 wounded. [R/511 F. Hibberd, R/510 J.E. Hitchens, R/343 D.O. Jones, KP/541 L. Radford, Wales Z/1401 S. Rogers, & Bristol Z/1395 C. White.] A number of gas shells were sent over, catching some of our parties unawares. Lieutenant WOLFE-BARRY & Sub Lieutenant HUGHES both got badly gassed & were evacuated.”
Private James Johnson, 2753, 1/4 Battalion, DCLI (Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry) died on 12 April 1916. He is buried at D76, Maala Cemetery, Yemen, suggesting he died defending Aden against the Turks. His battalion served in India 1914–1916, in Aden from 1916–1917 before serving a(fter Johnson’s death) in Egypt 1917–1918. Johnson was awarded the Victory and British War Medal.
Maala Cemetery, Yemen where James Johnson is buried (Image cwgc.org website)
Born in Falmouth around 1879, he was listed on Soldiers Who Died in the Great War as a resident in Devoran, The CWGC website lists him as the husband of Alice Johnson, Belmont Terrace, (Trevoran – CWGC spelling mistake) Devoran, Truro. James Johnson, like others in his Falmouth extended family, was a House Painter. In 1901 the couple were living in 55a Killigrew Street, Falmouth.
In the 1911 census, James and Alice (b. 1879, Perranwell /Perranarworthal) had been married 11 years and were living at Carnon Gate with their children Charly / Charles b. 1901, Perranwell / Perranarworthal and Cathleen Johnson, b.1909, Falmouth. 2 others of their children died young.