Roland Davis was born in early 1891 and baptised on 10th August 1892, together with his sister Elsie at New Bilton Church. His father was Robert, a labourer, and the family lived at 5 Alexander Terrace. Robert had married Mary Jane RANDS in 1886. They had seven children, but by 1911 three had died. By that date the family was living at 25 New Street and Robert was a Stationery Engine Driver. Roland was aged 20 and was a Labourer at Iron Foundry (he was working at BTH Generator Dept when he enlisted)
Roland joined the 5th Bn, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry as a private (No 11895). He arrived in France on 1st October 1915 and died on 27th April 1916, He was buried at Blangy Military Cemetery.
St. Laurent-Blangy is a village adjoining the north-east side of Arras. Roland Davis must have died in the fighting after it was taken by British troops in March 1916 The village remained on the front line until the remainder fell into British hands on the first day of the Battles of Arras, the 9th April, 1917.
After the war his body was transferred to Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery at Souchez. The remains were badly smashed up and he was identified by a French cross on the grave and portions of Khaki.
He is also listed on the BTH War Memorial.
A notice appeared in the In Memorial column of the Rugby Advertiser of 28th April 1917.
“Davis – In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Private ROLAND DAVIS, of New Bilton, who was killed in action in France on April 27th, 1916. – Not forgotten by his loving FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHER and SISTERS.”
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM