838753 Pte. Bertie "Bert" Philip Davis was born on September 24th, 1896, in Surrey England.

The 1901 UK Census shows the five year old Bertie described as an "inmate pauper", having been born in Lewisham, Kent, and resident in the North Surrey District School, a Union School, in Anerley Road, Penge, in Croydon. There he was under the care of Head School Master, William Charles Bray.

It seems that Bert was consequently a "Home child", cared for and ultimately sent forth to locations in the Empire for betterment and opportunities overseas. As such, Bert, aged 10, was amongst dozens of other children who were sent off to a new life in Canada, leaving Liverpool, England, on July 26th, 1906, on a 24 day voyage to Quebec and Montreal, aboard the Allan Line's S.S. Tunisian.

Enlisting in Owen Sound, aged 19, on January 5th, 1916, Bert attested into the 147th Battalion on February 1st, 1916. He was living in Leith, Ontario, at the time, working as a grocer's clerk for Arthur Cameron, who he listed as his Guardian. Bert was assigned to "A" Company under the command of Captain Corrie.

Billeted locally over the winter the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in the spring of 1916 and left for training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, aboard the S.S. Olympic on November 14th 1916.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R.

On February 7th, 1917, Bert was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. in the build-up for the Battle of Arras, which included the storming of Vimy Ridge by the Canadian Corps.

Bert saw service with the 4th C.M.R. through the summer of 1917, but was wounded in the vicinity of Vimy on September 6th, 1917.

Private Bert Philip Davis was struck off strength on January 21st, 1919.

Biography credit: George Auer

Additional family history details: David Kavanagh.