Walter Arnold Davis

Mr & Mrs Walter Arnold & Annie Victoria Davis

Property Details:

1. Tarrabandra - Solders Settlement Block

Walter Davis took up a soldier settlement block within the Soldiers’ Group Purchase Area No. 26 of Tarrabandra in the Parish of Tarrabandra, County of Wynyard, Gundagai Land District. The block was SGP No. 1922/24 and consisted of 292 acres.

2. "Willowden" West Blowering - Lease from Mr Fowler of Tumut.

3. “Burnside” at Gilmore - Rented 6 Yrs.

SOME HISTORY

1894 - Mr Walter Arnold Davis was born in Braidwood on the 10th August, 1894. He died in Tumut on the 27th February, 1956. WW1 MILITARY SERVICE - SERIAL NO. 6107 - UNIT Army Service Corps 5th Infantry Brigade Team - ENLISTED as a single man of about 30 years of age at Liverpool, Sydney, on the 19th February, 1915. Records show he was DISCHARGED in Sydney in April 1919 – as Medically Unfit.

1956 Walter Arnold DAVIS born to parents Mr ARTHUR JOSHUA & JULIA died in TUMUT, NSW - (Ref- NSW BDM 5666/1956).

Mr & Mrs Walter Arnold Davis leased the "Willowdene" property from Mr Fowler of Tumut

MARRIAGE

1926 Walter Arnold DAVIS married Miss Annie V HUSH in BRAIDWOOD, NSW - (Ref- NSW BDM 3357/1926) - Annie was born in 1898 to parents Mr George R & ANNIE F HUSH in BRAIDWOOD - (Ref- NSW BDM 10672/1898).

TWO CHILDREN a daughter and a son

In 1951 Miss Marjorie Julia Davis married her neighbour Colin C Meyers in in Tumut, NSW. - (Ref NSW BDM 6770/1951).

In 1958 Mr Archibald Walter "Arch" DAVIS married Miss Shirley Isabel SKEIN in Tumut, NSW - (Ref- NSW BDM 5844/1958)

OTHER - Then in 1965 Annie Victoria DAVIS who was born to parents Mr Ralph Gordon & ANNIE died in TUMUT, NSW - (Ref- NSW BDM 39713/1965).

A WONDERFUL STORY

My Father Walter Arnold Davis – Soldier Settler

My father Walter Arnold Davis, Regimental Number 6107, arrived back in Australia from Gallipoli and France on 21st March 1919. It was only by chance that I applied for his personal war papers after seeing an advertisement in the Daily Telegraph. It was from these that I was able to find out about his war service including the fact that he was sent back to serve in France after only a short recovery time after being shot in the shoulder. He continued to serve for approximately another year before returning home in 1919.

After he returned home, he drew a Soldiers Settlement property at Tarrabandra between Gundagai and Tumut NSW. I am told by relatives of other soldiers that he, with help from neighbours, dragged timber off the hill by means of a draught horse and built a house there for his mother and younger brother. The house has since been demolished. Walter Davis married Braidwood girl Victoria Hush in 1926 and by this time could no longer cope with the farm. Evidently he had also been secretary for the soldier settlers at Tarrabandra from 1919 to1926.

He was a delicate sick man for most of his life moving about from town to town trying to find easy work to support and keep his family together. I was born in 1928 and my brother in 1930. I always remember Dad’s ‘bad turns’ as we called them. He would go into a cold sweat and shake uncontrollably and have associated dreadful headaches. These turns would put him to bed for days at a time. I believe now that he was actually suffering from the symptoms of Malaria that were not commonly diagnosed in those days. He refused to ask for help from the relevant authorities. As I grew up I tried to help my mother make him as comfortable as we possibly could. When I was about 12 years old he had two operations performed on his liver. He gained some comfort from smoking cigarettes he rolled himself although he was never a heavy smoker or drinker.

My fathers brother (my uncle) had grown into a strong man and with him my brother Arch and myself (at approx ages 10 and 12) were able to help out a lot. It was at this stage my father decided to try sheep farming again. He rented a farm in the Blowering Valley near Tumut.

During World War Two the Government was offering Italian prisoners of war to help on farms. Walter applied for four men as our home had ample room to accommodate this number. I remember at this time that the neighbours were far from happy about this arrangement so dad had to do a lot of fast talking to try and convince them that they wouldn’t be harmed. It turned out that these men were also brave soldiers that had served their own country and had only become prisoners of war as they happened to be in Australia at that point in time. He related to the neighbours his own war injury (shot in the shoulder) that they, the Italians, like himself had endured the vagaries of war such as no water to wash or clean your clothes, food scarcity, living with vermin etc. This was the only time he ever spoke of the war and we were under strict instruction never to mention war in our house.

When the farm lease expired which was about the same time his mother died, he moved us all to “Burnside” at Gilmore which he rented for some six years. During this time he made enough money to set his brother (who had married at this stage) up on a small farm at Lacmalac. He also bought a small farm for my brother near Adelong. At this stage I had married Colin Myers and we had a baby boy who was about two years old. My father idolized this baby boy and when I was pregnant again we just hoped that he would live long enough to see this second grandchild born. His health deteriorated quickly and he died on 27th February 1956 aged 61, just some 3 ˝ months before his grand-child (a daughter) was born on 22 June 1956.

My mother and father stayed together for their whole married life. After my mother died in 1965 I searched for Dad’s war medals but unfortunately came up with nothing. Neighbours told us that he got rid of them because he was terrified that his own son Arch would follow his father’s footsteps straight into the Second World War. This attitude prevailed with all aspects of his history in regard to his time of service in the First World War and is reflected in the fact that no memorabilia or documented history of his time in service existed in our household.

Marjorie Julia Myers (nee Davis) - (Ref- http://soldiersettlement.records.nsw.gov.au/case-studies/davis-walter-arnold/my-father-walter-arnold-davis-soldier-settler/).

This report is submitted in good faith. All endeavours have been made to make all entries authentic and correct. For any corrections and additional valuable information, maps and photos you may have please contact John

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