John Rhys Davies was born in Oakham, the only son of John and Katherine Davies and was recommended for the Military Cross. The family lived at Springfield House in Ashwell Road and his father was a grocer and ironmonger. John was a pupil at Oakham School from 1890 to 1892, before the family moved to Gloucestershire. After school John studied Classics at Caius College in Cambridge, gaining a BA in 1902. He became Classics Master at Lexden House school in Seaford, East Sussex. John joined the Artists' Rifles in November 1915 and was gazetted as Second Lieutenant, 2nd/23rd (County of London) Battalion The London Regiment, part of 181 Brigade 60th Division the following June. De Ruvignys Roll of Honour says he served first of all in France and Flanders, from September 1916 towards the end of the Battle of the Somme. He then served for a time in Salonika towards the end of 1916 before being sent to Palestine in August 1917. John died at a casualty clearing station on 28 November 1917 from wounds received in action during the Turkish attack on Nebi Samuel. De Ruvignys says he was buried innitially at Kubeibeh Monastry Cemetery, but now is buried in grave C.44 of Jerusalem War Cemetery and is remembered on Oakham School's war memorial. His Colonel wrote after his death "Although mortally wounded, he continued to direct the firing and cheer and encourage his men till he became unconscious. They all speak with much admiration of his grand conduct; he is most deeply regretted and was respected and beloved by all ranks." Even though John was born and spend much of his young childhood living in Oakham, he is not remembered on the town's war memorial. But he is on the memorial on the entrance to Oakham School Chapel.
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