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© Barns Green - A Local History of The Great War 2014
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Christopher Davis (1898-1918) - Gnr 212982 Royal Field Artillery Christopher   Davis    was   the   eldest   of   the   two   surviving   children   (both   boys)   of   Frederick   and   Eliza   Davis.   Frederick   was   a   carpenter and joiner and in the 1911 the family were living at Little Lockets in Itchingfield. Christopher   was   born   on   the   2 nd    July   1898   so   would   not   have   reached   official   enlistment   age   until   summer   1916   and   the   required   age for   overseas   service   (19)   until   summer   1917.   However   rules   were   beginning   to   be   bent.   According   to   his   number   he   signed   up   on   the 14 th    March,   1917,   with   a   group   of   other   Sussex   men,   at   No   3   Depot   Royal   Field   Artillery,   Hilsea.    Four    days   later   they   were   posted   to   No     3   Reserve   Brigade,   Bulford,   followed   by   a   posting   to   Mesopotamia   on   11 th    September   1917   (from   Devonport)   with   the   ship   arriving   at Magil on 19 th  November 1917. The   men   were   then   posted   to   various   brigades   from   the   Base   Depot   and   Christopher   ended   up   with   1068   Battery;   221   Brigade   (a Howitzer brigade) which became part of the 17 th  Indian Division fighting the Turks. There   were   few   military   actions   in   the   area   in   this   period   but   conditions   were   terrible.   Extremes   of   temperature,   arid   desert   and   regular floods   together   with   flies,   mosquitoes   and   other   vermin   all   led   to   appalling   levels   of   sickness   and   death   through   disease.   Medical arrangements   were   also   quite   shocking,   with   wounded   men   spending   up   to   two   weeks   on   boats   before   reaching   any   kind   of   hospital. These   factors,   plus   of   course   the   unexpectedly   determined   Turkish   resistance,   contributed   to   high   casualty   rates.   Data   from   "Statistics   of the   Military   Effort   of   the   British   Empire"   (London:   HMSO,   1920)   reported   the   overall   statistics   for   the   Mesopotamia   Campaign   as   11,012 killed; 3,985 died of wounds; 12,678 died of sickness; 13,492 missing and prisoners and 51,836 wounded. Christopher   was   one   of   the   casualties   dying   of   pneumonia   in   hospital   at   Basra   after   a   short   illness   on   the   8 th    November   1918   -   a   month after Turkey had signed the armistice. Christopher   is   buried   in   Baghdad   (North   Gate)   War   Cemetery   and   is   remembered    on   the   Itchingfield   War   Memorial.   He   was   awarded the Victory and British War Medals for his service. .
The Fallen