Herbert A. Davis

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Herbert Arthur Davis served in the AIF during World War One. He was the founder of the Ballarat bus company, H. A. Davis Motor Services.



Davis was born in Ballarat in 1892, the second son of Alfred Ernest Davis (1858-1933) and Rachael Matilda Henderson (1861-1915).[1][2] His father was a caretaker and the family lived in the North Lodge at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.[3]

He appears in the lists of employees of the Ballarat Tramways, as a casual conductor in 1906, when he was 14 years old.[4]On 1 September 1913 he was promoted to being a motorman. On 22 May 1915, Davis was discharged from the company as part of a general reduction in services.[4]

Davis enlisted in the AIF on 7 September 1915, and was placed into the 6th Reinforcements, 21st Battalion.[5] He is listed as married, and his wife, Grace (1889-1971), is living with the family at North Lodge.[5] Davis left Australia on 5 October 1915, arriving at Alexandria on 23 February 1916 . He was transferred to the 7th Battalion, in February 1916, and sent into action in France. Davis was wounded in action on 18 August 1916, with a gun shot wound to the shoulder.[5] The Courier reported:

PRIVATE H. A. DAVIS. Mrs. Davis has received a cable from her husband, Herbert A. Davis, son of Mr Davis, caretaker, City Oval, stating that he has been wounded in the right shoulder.[6]

He was transferred to the 2nd Machine Gun Company on 14 November 1916. In 1917 he joined the 1st Machine Gun Company. He suffered some health problems including tonsillitis at the end of the war was returned to Australia on the hospital transport "Somerset."[5] He was discharged from the army on 20 September 1919.[5]

His younger brother, Francis (1899-1919), was killed on active service in 1919.[7]

Another brother, Edward served with the Flying Corps in World War One.[8]

After his return from active service in World War One he set up the company H. A. Davis Motor Services, and bought an old Chevrolet truck to carry passengers in competition with the tramway company.[9] In the 1930's he won the contract to run a passenger service between Ballarat and Buninyong to replace the train.[9]

Davis died in Ballarat in 1964 at the age of 72.[10] He is buried in the Ballarat New Cemetery Rose Garden, Section C, Row 1, Grave 32, with his wife.[11]


Honoured on the Ballarat Avenue of Honour for his World War One service.

See also



  1. Federation Index Victoria 1888-1901, Index to Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Victoria, 1892 Births, Ref. No. 19427, Macbeth Genealogical Services, 1997
  2. There is an error in the transcription and his name is given as Robt.
  3. http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1858392, accessed 24 January 2014.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Tramway Staff, Ballarat Tramways, Electric Supply Co. Staff Register, pg. XX, Ballarat Tramway Museum Archives, No. 6100
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 National Archives of Australia, World War I records, NAA citation here, SERN 2625, http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx accessed 27 January 2014
  6. 1916 'PRIVATE H. A. DAVIS.', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 12 September, p. 4 Edition: DAILY., viewed 27 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74682947
  7. National Archives of Australia, World War I records, NAA: B2455, DAVIS F G, SERN 3310, http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=1858392 accessed 26 January 2014
  8. National Archives of Australia, World War I records, NAA: B2455, DAVIS E H F, SERN 3309, http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx accessed 26 January 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Bradley, Alan, The Golden City and its tramways: Ballarat's tramway era, pg. 89, Ballarat Tramway Museum, 2005, Ballarat, ISBN 0 9591918 2 8.
  10. Death Index Victoria 1888-1901, Index to Deaths in Victoria, 1964 Deaths, Ref. No. 698, Macbeth Genealogical Services, 1998
  11. Ballarat General Cemteries, Cemetery Search Results, http://www.ballaratcemeteries.com.au/php/details.php?id=3644, 27 January 2014

Further Reading

External links

--Beth Kicinski 12:20, 14 August 2013 (EST)

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