Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

There is no conclusive evidence that Albert Victor Davis ever lived in Portsmouth but no doubt he visited his parents who in their latter days lived in Drayton and presumably attended St. Andrew's Church in Farlington as their son is commemorated on the WW1 Memorial there.
For most of his life Albert's father, Joseph John Davis (b. 1861 in Marlborough) was employed as a shepherd at various locations around Hampshire. In 1891 he was at Arreton on the Isle of Wight, in 1901 at Catherington, 1911 at Easton, Winchester and finally at Drayton. With him from 1882 was his wife Mary Ann (b. 1863 in Marlborough) and over the succeeding years they produced nine children, two of whom did not survive into adulthood. Albert Victor was the fifth born.
Several of Joseph's sons followed their father and became shepherds but Albert Victor chose otherwise, initially by working as a gardener, but later by joining the Royal Marine Light Infantry.
After the outbreak of the Great War Albert was posted to HMS Invincible and at the end of May 1916 the ship took part in the Battle of Jutland. At six-thiry on the evening of the 31st May, with the battle in full flow, a shell hit Q turret and burst inside blowing the turret roof into the air. Seconds later a huge explosion amidships blew the Invincible in half. The two ends of the ship remained sticking out of the water for several hours before they sank. Six of her crew survived and were rescued by HMS Badger. 1,026 men died, more than 130 of them, including Albert Victor Davis, were listed as being from Portsmouth.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) lists Private Albert Victor Davis (PO/16715), Royal Marine Light Infantry, HMS Invincible, died on 31/05/1916, aged 22. Remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 22). Son of Joseph John and Mary Jane Davis, of Wellington Cottage, Drayton, Cosham, Hants.
Albert Davis is also remembered on the WW1 Memorial at St. Andrew's Church, Farlington and on the Cenotaph. He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
April 2014