Another casualty of 2nd Suffolks attack on Gomiecourt on 23rd August 1918, was Lieutenant Davall.
A young man of remarkable character and said to have lived a charmed life like a cat being given nine lives, Cecil George Davall was wounded first at Polygon Wood, though not seriously. He was back with the Battalion within days. We was wounded again in the right forearm during the Battalion's successful attack on the Belgian village of Zonnebeke. Here, he commanded No.5 Platoon of ‘X’ Company, and after recuperation, he returned once more to the Battalion in January 1918 where he assumed the role of the Battalion Machine Gun Officer. Wounded again on 24th May whilst on a trench raid near Annezin, north east of Bethune, he recovered but sadly his luck gave out on 23rd August when he was killed by shell fire between the villages of Gomiecourt and Bucquoy.
Born in Ipswich in 1897, Davall's parents were both dead before 1909 and he was living with his sister at the house of a local engineering manager, into whose business, George was to enter. The family of Davall had over two hundred years before before, been displaced protestant cloth merchants from France who had settled in Spitalfields in London. They moved out to Suffolk in early Victorian times.
Today, Cecil lies beside his comrade, Peter Layard in Douchy-les-Ayettes cemetery. The photograph above, was taken on 13th August 1918: less than two weeks before his death and shows men of Davall's platoon in training. Not seen here is the detail of those around him. Very few of those captured by the camera exhibit anything more that two years service, yet nearly all men have a brass wound stripe visible on their lower left sleeves - some men even have as many as four; a testament to the tough fighting since the March Offensive that the Battalion had borne.
Image courtesy of Steve Farrant.
Welcome to our online 'blog' charting the history of the many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment and the part they played in the Great War.
Starting back in March 2014, we have recorded the events of 100 years ago on the centenary of their happening.
Keep checking back to see how the Great War is progressing for the men of the Suffolk Regiment.