Posted on June 20, 2019
The location of Corporal Robert Owen Davies’ final resting place came to light after a researcher submitted evidence that suggested he had been found. The MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and the National Army Museum undertook further research and the identification of the soldier’s grave was later confirmed by the JCCC.
To mark the sacrifice made by Cpl Davies for his country, a rededication service was held on Tuesday in France. The service was conducted by the Chaplain to 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s (CWGC) London Cemetery and Extension, on the Somme.
Members of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, a successor regiment to The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, were also present at the service.
Corporal Robert Owen Davies lost his life during the First World War. Having enlisted into The Royal Welsh Fusiliers, Cpl Davies was a member of the 10th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was on the Western Front by July 1916. On 19 July, 10th Battalion were ordered to attack at Delville Wood on the Somme. The battalion moved into Delville Wood where they encountered rifle and machine gun fire. At 3.45am on 20 July the attack commenced despite the heavy resistance already experienced and was ultimately unsuccessful. It was during this attack that Corporal Davies was killed. He was 27 years old. Cpl Davies’ body remained in Delville Wood until 1935 when he was recovered and buried in London Cemetery and Extension as an ‘Unknown Corporal of The Royal Welsh Fusiliers’. As his grave was unidentified, he was commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Jean Wearing, the great-niece of Cpl Davies said to be grateful to JCCC to for finding her great-uncle and honouring him in his resting place. “I have been researching the family history for many years and to find him has given me peace.”
Rosie Barron, from the JCCC said it was “vital” the memories of men like Cpl Davies were kept alive.