Major Henry Clarke Davis MC + Bar was transferred to and served as Captain and Medical Officer with the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, from February, 1917, until April, 1918.


Born in Schomberg, Ontario, in 1887, Captain Davis graduated in medicine from the University of Toronto in 1911. He enlisted in the Canadian Army Medical Corps (C.A.M.C.) in October, 1915, in Vernon, British Columbia, and was posted overseas in November 1915.


After service in England with the C.A.M.C. Training School (Shorncliffe), he served at the #2 Canadian General Hospital, with the #10 Field Ambulance and with the 49th (Edmonton Overseas) Battalion, before joining the 4th CMR. in the field on February 21st, 1917.


During his tenure with the 4th CMR., Captain Davis won the respect of the men with whom he served, together with Padre Honorary Captain William Henry Davis; for both of whom 4th CMR Historian, S. G. Bennett, said, "the battalion was blessed with two great Davis's".


As Medical Officer, "Curly" Davis worked to clear the wounded from the battlefield, care for their wounds, and evacuate them to hospital care in the rear. At Vimy Ridge, Hill 70, and Passchendaele, he and his team coped with the human destruction of war and with the increasingly frequent mustard gas attacks. At Vimy, S.G. Bennett noted that "[the Medical Officer] had a dirty little shelter behind the crest in which he cared for the wounded. He worked throughout the day, with a door for an operating table until all the wounded were cleared."


For his actions at Passchendaele on October 26th, 1917, Captain Davis was awarded the Military Cross. His citation reads: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as regimental medical officer. He was continually on duty for four days and nights, under heavy fire, attending to the wounded, and frequently dressed cases in the open. His courage and determination were responsible for the evacuation of all the wounded before the battalion was relieved. (London Gazette , January 18th, 1918).


Captain Davis ceased to be attached to the 4th CMR. on April 30th, 1918; he took up a position in an advanced dressing station with the 10th Field Ambulance, serving at Amiens, Arras, Cambrai and Mons. With that unit he was awarded the Bar to the Military Cross for actions in front of Cambrai, September 28th to October 4th, 1918.


Promoted to Major in December 1918, he was appointed DADMS (Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services) of the Canadian Corps, a position which he held until July 12th, 1919, when he was declared Struck Off Strength (S.o.S.) from the Canadian Expeditionary Force by reason of general demobilization.


Dr. Davis saw service again in World War II, as a Lieutenant Colonel in the C.A.M.C. - he commanded Canadian army convalescent hospitals at Harrison Hot Springs and Gordon Head, British Columbia.


Dr. Davis and his wife, Muriel, had settled in California following the first war, living and practising medicine in San Francisco for 29 years. He died on February 28th, 1952, at his country home near Boyes Springs, California.






Credit and many thanks go to W. John Maize for the above biography.