Oswyn St Leger Davies

1874 – 5th April 1918. Manchester Regiment (6th Battalion), Lancashire Fusiliers (8th Battalion)

Oswyn St Leger Davies, born in 1874, was a Manchester FC player who died during the German Spring Offensive of 1918. Davies was a veteran of the Manchester Regiment, having first commanded the Mounted Infantry of the Volunteers in 1904. Unsurprisingly, considering his name, Davies was from Wales, born in a village Llanwrda. He went to Rugby School before returning to Wales, where his passion for marksmanship saw him found the Welsh Rifle Association. After his time in the Manchesters, he joined the TA, and settled in rugby-mad Castleton, near Rochdale. He also wrote a book called The Theory of Musketry – A Plea for its Employment.

Davies had resigned his commission in 1911, but he rejoined the Manchesters when war broke out, travelling with them to Egypt and then Gallipoli. In Turkey he was injured during one of the many unsuccessful attempts to capture the high ground at Achi Baba. Upon recovery, he transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers, where he became a Lieutenant Colonel. In November 1917 he was wounded again, but recovered in time to lead his 8th Battalion (of Salford) in Europe the following spring. On the 5th April 1918, Davies was killed in action.

Davies is buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery. Grave XV11. A.4.

John Hartley – 6th Battalion, the Manchester Regiment in the Great War: Not a Rotter in the Lot
Lancashire Fusiliers Annual 1918
Manchester Guardian
World Rugby Museum

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