Date of Death: 26/09/1915
Regiment/Service: Essex Regiment 11th Bn.
Panel Reference Panel 85 to 87.
Memorial LOOS MEMORIAL
Born in 1892 at Bow/Poplar, son of Hughes (Physician & Surgeon) and Edith Davies. 1901: A scholar at Albion House School in Margate, the family home was at 82 Bow Road. 1911: He was a scholar at Rossall School in Lancashire, while his parents were at “Clovelly” Salway Hill Woodford Green, his Father still working as a Doctor. Geoffrey was an excellent all round sportsman, playing cricket for Essex County and Cambridge University where he gained his degree. He became a Member of the Middle Temple.
He landed at Boulogne on 30-08-15, and was involved in the Battle of Loos during 09-15. During the night of 24/25-09-15 the Battalion marched into Bethune and the following day they moved forward again through the stream of British wounded coming back from the fighting at Loos.
On 26-09-15 at 11.00, 72nd Brigade began attacking the German second line trenches at Hulluch between the positions of Puits and Stutzpunkt IV, and was to be supported by 11 Essex and 9 Suffolk. The Essex men were ordered forward at about mid day, advancing in the direction of Sturtpunkt3, parallel with and 600 yards South of the Vermielles/Hulluch Road. Hulluch could be seen in the distance, from which both shell and machine gun fire began hitting the ranks as they crossed the Lens-La Bassée Road. Parts of the battalion tried to take Hulluch, but suffered heavy casualties and were forced to take shelter in the outskirts of the village. The remainder of the battalion went on towards Stutzpunkt IV but was held up by the uncut German wire. There was little shelter and casualties began to mount until the order was heard to retire. Small parties fell back the way they had come but suffered further casualties as the Germans continued to pour fire into them from Hulluch.
A German officer of the German 26th Regiment who were opposing the Essex that day wrote: – “The Battalion Staff was on the left flank, south of Stutzpunkt IV, whence we had a wonderful view. The English attacked in whole hosts and with great dash. Our men fired standing up as fast as they could pull their triggers. No Englishmen got through the wire entanglement, and the ground in front was covered with bodies”.
The battalion suffered casualties of 18 officers (including their Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Charles Edward Radclyffe DSO) and 353 men during the attack, “brought down by machine gun fire which sounded like the rattling of a mowing machine”.
Geoffrey Davies was among those Killed in Action by the machine guns that day.
X/R Lt. Ernest Langford Davies, Canadian Infantry (Cousin).
Memorial: Roll of Honour St Mary’s Church
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Regimental History. Ancestry.
Qualification: Borough Resident.