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Posted: 03.11.18

Christ College Remembers Second Lieutenant Walter Bomford Davies


Second Lieutenant Walter Bomford Davies

1st (Garrison) Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry

3rd November 1918

School House 1901-1908

Walter Bomford Davies was the eldest of three brothers who attended Christ College. He joined School House in the Summer Term of 1901 and immediately proved to be conspicuously academic. By 1903 he had gained the nickname “Genii” because of his prodigious abilities in both Classics and Mathematics. It was no surprise when he gained a senior open scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford in 1908; the School was awarded a half-day holiday for his achievement.

He was a School Prefect, Editor of The Breconian and a member of the Games Committee during the Sixth Form. In July 1908 he ended his school career by receiving the Sixth Form Classics prize as well as the History and Composition prizes, and the prestigious Senior Anthony Death Exhibition in Classics. At Trinity College, he enjoyed rowing and debating and continued his academic successes with a First in Classical Moderations. Never physically strong, his health declined while at Oxford and he graduated with a third class Honours degree.

He was in Germany when war broke out and he was interned at the start of the hostilities, following an incident in which he was attacked by a mob in the street. In January 1916 he was released but he returned to England a ‘broken man’ having suffered malnutrition and ill-health while in the Ruhleben Internment Camp in Berlin.

He joined the Army after his repatriation and on December 15th 1916 he was appointed on probation as a temporary Second Lieutenant in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He was later transferred to the 1st (Garrison) Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry, a Battalion based in India which consisted of men who were not fit to serve on the front line. Second Lieutenant Walter Bomford Davies died of influenza on 3rd November 1918 and is buried in the Amritsar Cantonment Cemetery in India.

The Breconian reported on his death by recalling his popularity and academic promise, and the depth of sadness within the School that “a career of great possibilities” had been cut short. He is remembered on the Christ College War Memorial together with his brother, Harold Blakeney Davies, who was killed in action on 23rd April 1916.

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