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William Gauld DAVIES


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Lieut 2/7/1888 - 26y11m 12/6/1917 1919 3

(1976 – 1888) Lieutenant William Gauld Davies

Davies Brothers Booklet

Davies Family

Mr and Mrs Davies’ two sons, William and Maldwyn served in the AIF in World War I. Their daughter, Jessie Elizabeth Dempster lived in Western Australia.

Drysllwyn - The Family Home at Auchenflower

Drysllwyn at Auchenflower is an important building in the life of the Uniting Church in Queensland. During the years of World War II, the Davies family leased the property to Somerville House whose South Brisbane school had been taken over by the US Army. At the end of the war the property was acquired by the Methodist Church and converted into a hostel for country girls who came to Brisbane to work or study. It was renamed Raymont Lodge after Mrs Raymont who had made a substantial bequest to the church. When it was used for the training of ministers at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, it was called Trinity Theological College. For a time it housed meeting rooms, offices and library facilities.

Drysllwyn also has an important link with Mr William Davies, a gold-mining magnate and Elder at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church from 1908 to 1925. William Davies came to Australia from Wales when he was eighteen, firstly attracted to the gold fields at Ballarat, then moving to Gympie. Mr Davies purchased land at Auchenflower when he moved to Brisbane with his wife and son around the beginning of the twentieth century. He sponsored a competition to design a house to be built on his property at Auchenflower. The winning architect was Claude Chambers and the house was called Drysllwyn where the Davies family lived. In September 1918 a garden party was held at Drysllwyn. “It would have been difficult to find in any suburb in Brisbane a more beautiful setting for a garden party than the grounds of Drysllwyn the home of Mrs William Davies who kindly placed them at the disposal of the Hospitality and Arrangements Committee of the Presbyterian General Assembly,” the newspaper said. 

The function was attended by the Governor of Queensland and hundreds of guests including Brisbane church leaders and Assembly delegates from all parts of Australia. In the 1930s the title of the house was transferred from William Davies’ wife Eliza to Isabel, the wife of his son Maldwyn who was an insurance attorney. Now re-named Drysllwyn, it is used as a Kim Walters Choices outpatient support centre for survivors of cancer.

Early Life

William Gauld Davies, elder son of William and Eliza Jane Davies née Wyllie was born at Gympie on 2 July 1888. He attended Brisbane Grammar School in 1903 and became a grazier. He married Marjorie Grant Black, daughter of a Melbourne doctor and art collector in Melbourne on 10 June 1911. Her father gave an extraordinary wedding present to the couple. It was a three-piece furniture suite handcrafted by one of Australia’s leading designers and conceived in the gum nut art nouveau style popular with the wealthy elite of Victoria. William and Marjorie Davies transported their elaborate blackwood wardrobe, dressing table and washstand from Melbourne to their cattle property at Blackall where it served as bedroom furniture for decades. It is now called the Davies Suite and is part of the Ballarat Art Gallery Collection. Two children were born to the Davies family.

Enlistment and Service

William Gauld Davies enlisted at Brisbane for service abroad in the Australian Imperial Force on 12 June 1917. He was ranked Motor Transport Driver in Mechanical Transport Reinforcements and his unit embarked from Melbourne on 9 November 1917 on board HMAT Port Sydney for arrival at Suez on 12 December. He soon departed Alexandria for England, disembarked at Southampton on 5 January 1918 and marched into Army Service Corps Training Depot at Parkhouse. Private Davies proceeded overseas to France on 19 February 1918 to serve in the 1st Australian Siege Brigade Ammunition Column from 29 March 1918. 

He was promoted Corporal in April and transferred to 5th Australian Motor Transport Company as 2nd Lieutenant in October. William Davies was on leave to the United Kingdom in November, promoted Lieutenant in January 1919 and on leave in Paris and the United Kingdom from February till May. He was granted leave without pay while engaged in non-military employment in the United Kingdom from 20 May till 19 November 1919. 

Return to Australia

Lieutenant W. G. Davies commenced his return to Australia via USA at his own expense from Southampton on board SS Royal George and thence SS Ventura, disembarking in Sydney on 4 November 1919 for forward travel to Brisbane where his appointment was terminated on 25 March 1920. William Davies returned to his property, Athol at Blackall. He was active in the Graziers’ Association of Central and Northern Queensland. 

Passing

He died at Sutton Forest, New South Wales on 18 February 1976, aged 87 years. 

Booklet


Select Bibliography
• Prangnell J, Murphy K, Smith T, Terry L, Cultural Heritage Report for the Proposed Northern Link Project, The University of Queensland Archaeological Services Unit Report 423b, School of Social Science, University of Queensland, 2008
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages 
• Archives, Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church, Brisbane, Annual Reports 1901 – 1925 and Annual Reports 1926 - 1938
• Brisbane Grammar School Archives, The Golden Book 
• Who’s Who in Australia, XIth Edition, 1941, p 219
• Brisbane City Council, Cemetery Records
• Brisbane City Council, Heritage Register
• National Archives of Australia, military records, First World War
• Brisbane Courier, 3 July 1914, p 9; 20 December 1922, page 6; 17 Sept 1928, p 22; 2 August 1927, page 51; 21 September 1927, p 10; 4 Apr 1933, p 21; 2 May 1933, p 14
• The Telegraph, Brisbane, 20 December 1922, page 6; 24 Nov 1932, p 5; 30 July 1934, p 11; 29 Dec 1934 
• The West Australian, Perth WA, 28 May 1919, page 6
• Nambour Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser, 31 Aug 1934, p 11
• The Canberra Times, 10 June 1967, page 10
• The Courier-Mail, Brisbane, 3 June 1936, p 18; 30 Nov 1939, page 3; 4 December 1947, p 4; 20 Oct 1948, p 4; 7 Dec 1954
• The Queenslander, 24 November 1927, p 16
• The Capricornian, Rockhampton, 29 September 1927, p 28
• Townsville Daily Bulletin, 9 Oct 1936, p 7
• The Central Queensland Herald, 15 Oct 1936, p 59
• Sunday Mail, Brisbane, 1 October 1944, p 5
• The Australian, 9 March 2013
• The Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton, 29 Nov 1939, p 4
• Queensland Times, 7 Aug 1954, p 6
• The London Gazette, Supplement, 10 June 1967
• The Canberra Times, 10 June 1967, p 10

Compiled by N. E. Adsett, Brisbane, May 2015

 

 

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