Lawrence Davis' grave at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery located 12 Kms west of Ieper (Ypres) town centre in Belgium. During the First World War, the village of Lijssenthoek was situated on the main communication line between the Allied military bases in the rear and the Ypres battlefields. Close to the Front, but out of the extreme range of most German field artillery, it became a natural place to establish casualty clearing stations. The cemetery was first used by the French 15th Hopital D'Evacuation and in June 1915, it began to be used by casualty clearing stations of the Commonwealth forces.From April to August 1918, the casualty clearing stations fell back before the German advance and field ambulances (including a French ambulance) took their places.The cemetery contains 9,901 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, 24 being unidentified.
Sourced from the CWGC Website
War record of Laurence Davis
A product of Clifton College in Bristol, England, Lawrence Alan Davis was only in Shanghai for two years working for Messrs. Burkill & Sons. During this time he played rugby a few times playing his last game in the autumn games of 1914.
He exemplified the desire of his generation to fight. Aged twenty, he volunteered to join the first contingent leaving Shanghai. He was turned down on account of his age. When he turned twenty-one on 22 June 1915 he again volunteered, this time successfully.
On his arrival in England he initially joined the West Riding Rifles but later received a commission to join the newly formed Royal Flying Corps. He obtained his pilot’s certificate on his twenty-second birthday and was immediately sent to France.
He was injured on a bombing raid in August of 1916 when his engine gave out at 10,000 feet over enemy lines and he was forced to return home by gliding his plane. His broken arm and knee cap took five months to heal after which he returned to France in March 1917.
He was killed in action the day after his twenty-third birthday on 23 June 1917, just one year and one day after he received his flying certificate. He went on a photographic patrol at 10.55 a.m. His plane was forced to land, crashed near the aerodrome, caught fire and was wrecked. Davis was the pilot; the observer, Second Lieutenant Tootell, was also killed and is buried in Lijssenthoek.
The base of Davis' gravestone reads ‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die’.
A detailed announcement of Lawrence Davis' death in the North China Herald of 30 June 1917
Lawrence Alan Davis (1894 - 1917)