My father was Isaac John Davies, born 15th Dec 1898
He joined the army in 1914 right away as a volunteer in Grange Rd, Birkenhead. But his parents found out and went and got him out, explaining he was only 16 years of age. My father was given a dishonourable discharge because he was only 16 years.
But a few months later he ran off to Chester saying he was over 18 years and a plumber. By the time his parents found out where he had run off to it was too late and he had been shipped out to France.
He fought in the trenches then was fighting in the fields. It was then decided that a small battalion of 100 would be sent to the border of Northern France Alsace Lorraine and they would be led by a French officer and his men. They set up camp but the next day coming out of their huts they were surrounded by Germans and shot.
My father was shot in the knee and the thigh which was a flesh wound. My father was sent to a POW camp in Germany and his knee was operated on and the bullet taken out. My father was also beaten with the butt of a rifle on his head and knocked unconscious by one of the French soldiers. He was then sent to a German farm to work for a couple of years. The farmer and his wife noticed my father’s leg was going septic and brought in the local doctor who attended his knee every day til it was healing. My father was 18 ½ years old. This doctor saved my father’s life.
After the war my father and the few men who survived were interviewed and told not to repeat what happened as the French were our Allies so it was all brushed under the carpet.
After he got home in 1918, 6 months later he had to go into Walton Hospital to have his skull opened up and the abscesses removed from inside the skull which had been caused by the beating to his head by the butt of the rifle. My father hated the French with a passion, he had a few heart attacks over the years, but died of a fatal one on 30th Dec 1960.
I have tried to get information of all his war records, can only get half, but nothing on his POW records, have been told a lot was lost or burnt in a fire!
On the 1911 census 12 year old Isaac is recorded living at 20 Crown Street, Birkenhead with mother Mary and father Silvanus, who was employed as a Gas Stoker. His siblings were Silvanus (19), Mary (17), James (14), Albert (10), Thomas (8), Florie (5), Alfred (2).
Isaac served enlisted with the 4th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment on 7 November 1914. Service Number 2648. His Pension record shows he was discharged on 3 December 1915 following an application by his parents. The medical inspection report notes his apparent age as 15 years 11 months.