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 Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies

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Bill8183
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Vaughan




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PostSubject: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 11, 2022 4:08 pm

John William Jones Davies
Born 1848* Died  1879

In St Maelog Church Llandyfeilog Carmarthenshire is a plaque to the memory of JWJD.
It reads:-
To the Memory of JOHN WILLIAM JONES
Eldest Son of Edward Morris and Maria Thomas Davies of Upland in this parish
Killed in the battle of ISANDWRLANA January 22 1879 Aged 31 years.
“For I will not trust in my bow neither shall my sword save me”

This tablet was erected by his brother Arthur

The tablet is headed by the family coat of arms of Sa: a spear head imbued between 3 scaling ladders : argent : on a chief Gu : a castle triple towered in the second

JWJD was an ancestor of mine but what he was doing in South Africa is a mystery.
You will note that he is not given an army rank in his memorial which suggests he was not present in a formal military capacity. I have carried out extensive research which includes paying for archive research and visiting the barracks museum in Brecon. I have even scanned the passenger records for private travel from the UK to South Africa from 1870 to 1879. All with no success.
So what are the facts?
JWJD was the first born son of Edward Morris Davies a distinguished member of the local landed gentry and High Sheriff of Carmarthen in 1865.
JWJD spent his formative years on his father’s estate and lived in a grand mansion called Uplands overlooking the Towy estuary just south of Carmarthen town. The house is now a nursing home called by its original name of Towy Castle.
I can’t find any information about his early education although I have checked the family traditional school of Llandovery College and there is no record of him for the relevant period. We do know however that he was a student at Cambridge University in 1869/70  

Now this is where my imagination takes over. I was the manager of the Catering services for St Johns College Cambridge back in the 1980’s and without breaking the Official Secrets Act I can tell you that some of the private dining events were hosted by very senior government officials with the sole intent of recruiting the best graduates of the time.
Is it possible that this intelligent young man from ancient Welsh farming stock was recruited by the government for some clandestine service in South Africa? Of course the Boer conflict was brewing at this time. From my research JWJD would easily fit the character created by John Buchan for his novel “Prester John”!

There are some little things like why was his father so “quite” about his death and why was the memorial erected by his brother? Perhaps his father was privy to the truth of his demise?
Anyway what was JWJD doing at Isandlwana on the 22nd Jan or was he really killed somewhere else?

*The church plaque gives his age at death as 31 but I have been unable to verify DOB via a birth certificate. However baptised church record seen as 30th January 1850


Vaughan Williams June 2022 – email [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
If anyone can help solve this mystery I would be most interested to hear from you.
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gardner1879

gardner1879


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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 11, 2022 5:33 pm

This is in haste, so further research will be needed and I haven't time at the minute.
Its a BIG shot in the dark but as you've hit a brick wall.
Looking at the name on the memorial it is just 'John William Jones'
Is there a remote possibility that it could be the name he used and perhaps he didn't use Davies. His brother would know this.
I appreciate there is no mention of Royal Artillery on the memorial but could he be Driver John William Jones Reg No 2178 of N battery 5th Brigade KIA at Isandlwana? p78 The Red Book
Medal with 1877-8-9 clasp. p361 Duttons
Must dash
Kate
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1879graves

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 11, 2022 8:27 pm

Hi Vaughan

Please take a look at the following links

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Salute
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Tim Needham

Tim Needham


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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 11, 2022 9:36 pm

Kate,

Driver JW Jones RA is commemorated on a family headstone in Hardwick Road Cemetery, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, and unfortunately comes from a different family - there was a photo of the inscription on the forum in the graves section, but I can't seem to find it....

Regards,

Tim
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Bill8183




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySun Jun 12, 2022 12:35 am

Evening everyone,

Having looked back at the original thread from Tim and Vaughan's first thread I'm not convinced at all of any "secret squirrel" activity from the above gentleman. Admin posted a message in that thread, stating it's believed he was on "undercover operations against the Zulu" when he died. Sorry I just can't see it, a white man in Zululand, not very clandestine is it? I don't think he would quite "fit in"

Leg pulling aside, lets say he was with Chelmsford's column, presumably with the HQ and presumably with a cover story. There is no mention or record from any other Staff Officer, Interpreter or Journalist mentioning a well to do Welsh Gentleman. (Unless anyone knows different)?

What was his purpose? I'm not really interested in the Boer War and unsure when the Boer started to agitate for conflict but I think it's a bit early in 1879 for that. Why would he report to Chelmsford if he was? Surely Sir Bartle Frere would be the more obvious choice?

I'm not convinced either by any involvement in intelligence gathering against the Zulu, again no-one ever mentions him or alludes to his presence.

Julian, you have the entry in "England's Sons" as 25B/743 Jno. Wm. Jones Davies Are you convinced by this?  

As I have shown in the previous thread Pte Davies enlisted on the 2nd February 1876  as John Ivor Davies. Each subsequent pay-list of the 2/24th says John Ivor up to March 1878. After that there is a distinct difference in how the "I " is written, indicating to me  that it is not John J. but John I.

I have no idea where Holmes got John James.

The casualty list WO 25/3368 states John Ivor, The effects list WO 25/3488 says John I. again a distinct difference in writing. The medal list, again a difference between initials. Someone claimed it, issued 11th January 1882 AG List 102

So to me, 743 Davies is not the above Gentleman.

Bill


Last edited by Bill8183 on Sun Jun 12, 2022 4:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rai




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySun Jun 12, 2022 11:20 am

Hi All.
Can confirm JWJ Davies was Baptised on 30 Jan 1850 father edward Gentleman of Hilgardan.
Bap was in the St Maelog Church LLandyfeilog.
1861 Census gives the family living at 15 Milner Street, St Mary's Islington, father b.1819, mother Maria born 1829, John, two more sons Edward W [william] b.1852, George T [Thomas] b.1855.
Fathers occupation given as Landed Proprietor.
Cannot find John in the 1871 census as he had probably left home there are just too many people who could fit.
Rai Keynshamlighthorse.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySun Jun 12, 2022 3:47 pm

Bill is quite right about the various records naming 743 as John Ivor Davies so I shall have to update my England's Sons for the next edition.
Equally, Vaughan is quite correct about the Carmarthenshire plaque being to John William Jones Davies of whom no trace can be found among the 24th rolls.
Any John Buchan-type activity is out of the question.
The answer can only be that he enlisted under an alias (unknown to date) or that he was one of the 3rd (or 1st) Regt. N.N.C. N.C.O.s whose fate was unrecorded. We can only speculate as to the reason for his anonymity.
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Vaughan




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySun Jun 12, 2022 4:49 pm

Thank you everyone for your time and effort in trying to solve the mystery of JWJD. i am beginning to think that JWJD was not in the army but it was simply a case of wrong place wrong time! Anyway keep going everyone - the answer might be out there somewher!
Vaughan Williams
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySun Jun 12, 2022 4:53 pm

Smashing thanks Tim Salute I thought you might know.
It was a long shot in the dark.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 16, 2022 11:59 am

I made some enquiries through contacts at Pembroke and Cambridge and it appears that JWJ Davies was paying for his own tuition and lodging but was only at Cambridge for Lent and Easter terms in 1869 but there is no explanation (in university records) why. He certainly never received a degree. Neither college nor university has any further record of any kind on him.
Did he get himself into debt and decided to disappear, one wonders? Gambling? Anything's possible? Intriguing.
There's a novel there somewhere...
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 16, 2022 12:08 pm

Nice little find Julian.
Re reading the details about JWJ Davies keeps reminding me of George William's, killed at Hlobane alongside Alan Gardner.
Coming from a Welsh background and serving in the 5th West Yorkshire Militia before going to SA, George entered Peterhouse College Cambridge 4th October 1869. (Rifle and Spear with the Zulu p197)
Clearly not the same person but their backgrounds seem very similar.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 16, 2022 3:12 pm

Kate
If you've been looking at the few facts noted on this man, you'll have noticed that his recorded ages do not add up:
his brother's plaque says he died 22.1.1879 aged 31 (i.e. born 23.1.1847-21.1.1848)
parents married 13.12.1848 (assume he was born September 1849; thus age at death 30; or might the J.P. have had an illegitimate child whom he then legitimized - not really likely given his social status)
baptism 30.1.1850 - proof he was at least 28 when he died!!
census 30.3.1851 records him aged 1 with a 4-month old brother, placing his birth at the latest 30.11.1849.
census 7.4.1861 records him aged 10 (clearly an estimate)
29.1.1869 age on university entry: 20 (implying a birth in 30.1.1848-28.1.1849)
Looking at the births in Carmarthen 1847-49, there are dozens of John Davies....!  
Probable birth dates seem to coalesce within 1849 with a bit of give and take.

Out of interest, 743 Pte. John Ivor Jones was 26 on 22.1.1879 and 24 when he enlisted on 1.2.1876 (i.e. born 1852).  If correct, this makes it impossible for him to be JWJD...unless he lied about his age...!
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 16, 2022 4:20 pm

Kate
It would be nice to suggest Davies and Geo. Williams met at Cambridge and forged a plan to run off to SA together. However, the timings don't quite match so they could never have met.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 16, 2022 9:28 pm

I may be missing something but quite possibly he wasn't in the regulars.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 6:43 am

I'm starting to wonder perhaps if he was an irregular down at the coast and killed at Nyezane.
The family then receiving inaccurate information from SA and putting the more 'famous' battle on the memorial.
Vaughan do we have a date for when the memorial was erected?
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 8:06 am

There are a lot of NNc officers that weren't named. I'm going to check appointment orders this morning but not all the appointments were recorded
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 8:10 am

I wonder if he knew Standish Vereker.
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Frank Allewell

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 9:15 am

There are a number of Davies listed in the Local General Orders but not JWJ.
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 9:42 am

The point is that if he enlisted under an alias, be it in the N.N.C. (or other colonial corps) or as a regular, there will be no clue as to his identity. This will be the case no matter in which battle he was killed.
Only his brother knew who and where he was. Perhaps surviving family papers in an archive somewhere might help.
Kate, a very good point about the date of the memorial and the accuracy of the brother's remarks made on it!
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Vaughan




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 12:27 pm

Thanks again everyone and in particular Kate for her forensic work on the date of birth you might have something here! From memory Arthur, his brother, erected the memorial 10 years after Isandlwana. I am visting the church next month so will check this out. I also recall that there is a newspaper cutting somewhere of a court case in Cambridge in 1870 where JWJD was claiming compensation over some mooring rights on the Cam river! perhaps a boat was his lodgings?
Vaughan
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 12:42 pm

Vaughan
You'll find the newspaper cutting under 23.2.2021 on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 7:02 pm

" By the marriage there were four sons and one daughter. One son died in London and one was killed in South Africa in the Zulu War."
Extract from his fathers obit Barmouth and County Advertiser 1 Nov 1900
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyFri Jun 17, 2022 10:53 pm

At some point someone asked how the John I. became John J. for 743 Pte. John Ivor Davies.
I think that was the result of the list of casualties published in the London Gazette, 15th March 1879.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 8:57 am

Have just gone through I T Tavender's 'Casualty Roll for the Zulu and Basuto Wars SA 1877-79' from cover to cover. N/T of any JWJ Davies.
Likwise N/T in Harts 1877 in any Militia regiment.
Even gone completely left of field and checked Anthony Farrington's Second Afghan War Casualty Roll 1978-80. N/T

I do wonder  Vaughan, could he have been disowned by the family? After all, as Julian found out, he was funding his own way through Cambridge which I think is unusual for a wealthy family.
Perhaps the only contact he had with the family was with his brother who put up the memorial.
Perhaps he wasn't at Isandlwana at all but died in disgrace somewhere else. Hence not being on any passenger list.
Putting Isandlwana on a memorial shows he had a 'noble' death rather than say committing suicide or being killed whilst committing a crime.
I doubt his brother would have thought that 143 years later a small group of individuals would be digging up the past.

Vaughan when you go to the church see if you can find any old parish magazines that may have a report about the memorial. At St Mary's where Alan Gardner is buried they have parish magazines going back to the 1890's.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 9:53 am

Further to the above this just struck me whilst having a brew.
If JWJ Davies changed his name and enlisted under a false name, how would his family know he was killed at iSandlwana?
The authorities wouldn't be able to notify them of his death as he had given them false details.

The only way I can think is if he told his brother of his intentions and false name and his brother saw that false name on the casualty rolls or if a survivor knew Davies real name and contacted the family.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 10:55 am

Lets go back to his Dad's obituary in the Barmouth and County Advertiser dated Nov 1 1900. This was probably writen by Edward Morris Davies himself prior to death as it was the style of the time for a gentleman wishing to be remembered for all his achievements and for what he wanted to put on record!
There are two points which jump out at me.
He says "he married Maria in 1846" - this would perhaps cover the legitimacy query! perhaps he was simply rewriting his history to fit this query
He says he "had 4 sons and one daughter. One son was killed in South Africa in the Zulu wars".
Why did he say South Africa and not Isandlwana? He was obviously a proud man and one would have thought he would wish to record his son's passing with more detail. After all he records in the same obituary that his father was a Captain in Carmarthenshire Militia who was ordered out in 1797 to meet
the French when they landed at Fishguard.
With lots of outstanding queries - The mystery of JWJD continues................................
Vaughan Williams
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 11:11 am

Have just gone though Dutton's medal roll 1877-78-79 from cover to cover (it makes your eyes go squiffy)
N/T of any JWJ Davies.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptySat Jun 18, 2022 1:55 pm

Vaughan
I doubt he considered putting Isandhlwana in the obituary - he needed to be able to spell it!
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyMon Jun 20, 2022 10:45 pm

Link to photos of Arthur Owen's grave in Hampstead Cemetery:

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Regards,

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyMon Jun 20, 2022 11:31 pm

Vaughan
Can I ask you, since you are a relative of both John and Arthur, whether you are in contact with any of Arthur's descendants and might be in a position to ask them what they know of JWJD?
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 1:31 pm

A Gentleman called Paul Bradly is a direct line descendant of JWJD and we were in contact via email until about 2 years ago. I am concerned as I have been unable to make contact with him since.
He has however built a very informative tree on Ancestry.com much of which is open to public view.
Paul did confirm to me that JWJD was a bit of a mystery and the only reason he knew he had been killed at Isandlwana was because Arthur had said so on his memorial.
Vaughan Williams
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 3:23 pm

Vaughan
You don't really mean a direct line descendant do you? JWJD never married. Do you mean a direct line descendant of Arthur?
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 3:47 pm

Answer to Julian - Yes!
Vaughan
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 4:15 pm

That's positive! Are there any other descendants from Arthur?
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 4:15 pm

In my copy of "Correspondance Relative to Military Affairs in the Natal and the Transvaal (War office 13th Feb 1879) in Enclosure 1 No7 part A there is a section on the Commissariate Department dated July 1878. Shown is a Assistant Commissary Davies at Griqualand East, Kokstadt.

He is not shown as an officer or an NCO/R&F but is available to go from the Eastern Frontier  for Natal and the Transvaal.
On the following page Assistant Commissary Davies is shown serving in Natal and the Transvaal.
Then in the following table on the same page Assistant Commissary Davies is shown as one of thirty officers required with no place name just 'Transport' (Commissariate Office Cape Town 14 July 1878)

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In enclosure 2 No7 Strickland states
"You will pardon me I trust if I urge you to move the Surveyour General to grant me without delay a few trained officers and non-commissioned officers. I dread the task before me without them" (11 July 1878)
This could suggest Davies and many others on the list were possibly civilians (though A/C Dunne is on the list and he did rather well!)
Julian in England Sons you say that eight of the European conductors were unaccounted for. Could our Davies have been one of those missing conductors taken from the Army Commissariat?
In Duttons the only Davies I can find is 2nd Corporal J Davies medal no clasp p350

Appreciate I'm clutching at straws but a civilian commissary/conductor could easily be overlooked by those compiling the casualty lists.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 4:32 pm

Kate,
I have info on Asst. Commy. E.L.B. Kevill-Davies A.C.T.D.  Indeed he is mentioned on p. 361 of Mac & Shad alongside the names of many other Asst. Commys. who are mentioned in the docs you posted.  He was at Inyezane and the siege of Eshowe and then seriously ill, was invalided home.  Kevill-Davies needs to be discounted first.
However there might just be a possible link to JWJD there.  I'll continue to do some digging of my own.
By the by, I have reduced the 8 unaccounted for that you mention down to 4 unaccounted for.  It would be nice if JWJD were one of those 4.
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 5:04 pm

Funnily enough have just found him in Local General Orders dated 3rd January 1879
"1 Assistant Commissary Hope will proceed to Helpmakaar, and Assistant Commissary Kevill-Davies to Stanger for Transport Duties."
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 5:24 pm

Some details about Ernest Langham Boughton Kevill-Davies

Born 22nd September 1853. (DOB from 1939 Census Register)
July 1872 E.L.B. appointed Sub Assistant Commissary
22 October 1872  E.L.B. Kevill-Davies was appointed to a Commission in the Control Department
(Freemans Journal 22nd October 1872)
In 1874 he moved to the Army Service Corp.  (Wellington Gazette and Military Chronicle - Saturday 15 August 1874)
August 1875 to ASC 6th Comp Aldershott

Harts 1877 Assistant Commissary ranking with Lieutenants Ernest L.B. Kevill-Davies 13th June 1874 A.S.C. (6Co)
Harts 1878 Ernest L.B. Kevill-Davies 13 June 1874 Natal
Harts Army list for 1881 under Assistant Commissary as Commandant and Transport Department

If its the same man it looks like he took his holy orders when he returned to England

"The Rev E.L.B. Kevill-Davies studied at Wells College and was ordained deacon in 1881 and priest in 1892 by the Bishop of Hereford. He served in the Mounted Army Service Corps in the Cape and Zulu Wars in 1878-9 and received a medal and clasp. His first curacy was at Brace Moele 1881-83 and he subsequently held curracies at St Matthias, Earls Court 1883-86; St Anne, Soho 1886-87; and Holy Trinity, Upper Chelsea 1887-91. Since 1892 he has been vicar of Croft with Yarpole."
Essex Weekly News - Friday 18 June 1909

By 1915 he was rector of St Mary's at Maldon, Essex living at the Rectory, Mill Road in 1920.

His wife Maud Emma Kevill-Davies died on the 5th January 1929 at 41 Pelham Road, Wimbledon
In 1939 he was living at 25 Midmoor Road, Wimbledon Surrey with his daughter Lillian Kevill-Davis (b7.7.1879) and Alice Taylor the House keeper
He died in Surrey in 1943 aged 89

Julian I'm not sure this is the same man as the Davies in my list above.

Would he not be shown as Kevill-Davies in the lists above as this is how he appears in Harts and various newpaper/clergical reports.
However re reading the list the '1' in the first column could refer to Davies as an officer which would tie in with his military background and the two dashes in the columns to the right of his name means he is not available though he did go.
He is also listed wth the officers in the second list though perhaps this could this just be a rank given locally to a civilian to give him some authority?

Now where are those straws?


Last edited by gardner1879 on Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : addition of full D.O.B. and 1939 address.)
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Julian Whybra




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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 6:49 pm

Kate
I was busy duplicating the research in Hart's Army lists, etc., that you've come up with and I also think we can rule Kevill-Davies out.

Against your argument:
I don't think that in a list the compiler would have been too pernickety about adding 'Lieut.'
As for the double-barrelled name, Newnham Davies is generally referred to as 'Davies' in official reports, therefore Kevill-Davies could easily just be 'Davies' too.

For your argument:
Although no place name is listed in the second list, crucially, Asst. Commy. Davies's name is set against Transport " with the ditto mark referring to 'Natal and Transvaal'.
We know that by January 1879 Kevill-Davies was operating with Column No. 1 (Inyezane/Eshowe) but 'Davies' seems to have been engaged with Transport for Column No. 3 (Natal) and the Transvaal.  This speaks in favour of Kevill-Davies and Davies being two separate men.

Conclusion:
If you can find no further mention of Asst. Commy. Davies post-22.1.1879, then I think you've cracked it and he was our JWJD.  I mean there are Ts to cross and Is to dot but logic places a man with the right surname (albeit a common one) in the right place at the right time.  You simply have not to find him thereafter.
Very well (almost) done!
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 7:28 pm

Thanks Julian. I will keep digging.

I've found a Commissary Davies, Mrs Davies and family returning from the Cape on board the Olympus in August 1879 (Return of Invalids from Cape Derby Daily Telegraph - Monday 04 August 1879)
I'm assuming this is Kevill-Davies

There is also a Commissary Davis returning on board the steamer Arab in November 1879 but the surname is slightly different.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyTue Jun 21, 2022 10:16 pm

1. Yes, I think that's Kevill-Davies on The Olympus - note that they only refer to him as Davies!
2. I've no clues yet on Commy. Davis of The Arab. His S. African 'career' will have to be found to make sure that he isn't our asst. Commy. Davies.
3. I can find no further mention of Asst. Commy. Davies in any of the General Orders post-22.1.1879. Can you?
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 8:07 am

Kate
I decided to see who else, apart from Asst. Commy. Davies, listed in the Commissariat docs you quoted from above does not appear in the Mac & Shad ACTD list, just to see to what extent Davies was the exception.
It turns out that of the 21 ACTD officers listed, 5 others apart from Davies are not listed: Asst. Commy. Gen. Pennell, Commy. Webb, Dep. Commys. Stewart and Rushton, Asst. Commy. Loney.
I'm not quite sure of the significance of this. I suppose I was on the lookout for anyone else who might have slipped though the net and been present at Isandhlwana but unrecorded. Something to be borne in mind perhaps.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 8:18 am

Nope.
After the January entry N/T of any Commissary Davies or Davis.
Sorry just seen your last post. Also Assistant Commissary Hope who is mentioned with Kevill-Davies in the G.O. is not shown on the list.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 10:37 am

Kate
Of those additional 5, Webb was sent to HQ, Pennel was Natal-Transvaal, Loney and Rushton were en route headed towards Column no. 1, and Stewart was not mentioned (the bottom right of the doc is not particularly clear so I can't be sure I've not accounted for someone).
The 6th man, Hope, was SCO at Dundee and employed along the line of comms to Newdigate's Division.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 11:43 am

Julian,

Regarding Webb please see [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

JY
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 3:25 pm

Very interesting John. I made a comment on that thread.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyWed Jun 22, 2022 10:56 pm

Some details of Kevill Davies duties. Note full surname used in this official document.
Julian I think I have found our other Commissary 'Davis'. See first attachment.

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 7:06 am

I am trawling through facts and focused on the church plaque to see if Arthur left a clue. Did he for example spell Isandlwana incorrectly on purpose - does it mean something? The quote from the Psalm might be pertinent. Specifically the last line??????
"For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them. 4Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. 5Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us. 6For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. 7But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. 8In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. 9But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 8:29 am

Kate
Re Correspondence relative to military affairs... as posted above, are you sure these docs appeared in that (13th Feb 1879) volume? Are they not in the previous one?
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gardner1879

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PostSubject: Re: Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies   Tthe mystery of JWJ Davies EmptyThu Jun 23, 2022 8:48 am

Yes and no.
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