John William ‘Bill’ Davies

John William ‘Bill’ Davies was born around 1922, in Longport to Samuel and Jane Davies, and they had a number of children. The family lived at 11 Princes Square, Longport.

John William Davies 1943 (Medium)

John William Davies 1

He served as Able Seaman John William Davies, Service No: P/JX 337268 serving in the Royal Navy at H.M.S. President III attached to merchant ships. He crossed the Atlantic on the convoy runs to Nova Scotia at least two times. 2 At the time of his death, he was serving on D/S Måkefjell which was a Norwegian merchant vessel. He was on this ship as a gunner deployed on Defensively Equipped Merchant Ships. 3 The ship was recorded as being at the port of Bizerte in Tunisia on the 23rd July 1943 and back at this port on 5th August 1943 4, presumably as part of Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily.

makefjell

D/S Måkefjell – Read more about this ship here 5

After Bill was killed there was an article in the  ‘Scouts and Scouting’ written by ‘Scoutmaster’ or ‘A.S.L.’ published in the Weekly Sentinel. The  below comes from that column, probably from October 1943.

It is now almost three months since John William Davies was reported killed in action, but details of his service in Scouting have only recently come to hand. Bill first came in contact with the Movement about 13 years ago when he joined the 39th City (Longport Methodist) Pack. Soon after he went up into the troop, it disbanded, but this did not stop him being a scout. Along with a pal 6 he joined the 1st City (Porthill) Troop, where he made steady progress. Here he soon became a Second and then a Patrol Leader, a position which he held in his usual quiet and steady manner. At the outbreak of war he gave his services as orderly and messenger at the Bradwell Lane A.R.P. Post and continued to attend these duties until he joined the Home Guard   He held the following badges: – Ambulance, Missoner, Swimmer, Public Healthyman and Rescuer. Above all, Bill was an all-round good Scout. I knew at the Scout Meeting, and more important, for a time he worked alongside me and never let me down. A.W. 7

sentinel

John William Davies was killed on 01/08/1943, aged 21 years while he was ashore in Sicily. He was caught in a single aircraft raid. 8

John Davies Grave

John William Davies’ Grave, Catania War Cemetery, Sicily.9

He is commemorated and buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, Italy and in the St. Andrew’s Church Book of Remembrance.

  1. Photo courtesy of  the Davies family.
  2. From a conversation with Frank Simpson.
  3. Information courtesy of his nephew Rodney Strick
  4. Arnold Hague Ports Database
  5. D/S Måkefjell photo courtesy of the Warsailors.com website & P. O. Kittelsen, Norway (original source unknown) who sent it to that site.
  6. Frank Simpson. They joined Cubs together and then Scouts. Frank served in the Army and survived the War
  7. Sentinel cutting courtesy of Geoff Mayer
  8. From a conversation with Frank Simpson.
  9. Grave photo courtesy of the Virtual British War Cemetery of Catania website