30 October 2015
Thomas Davies, the World War One (WW1) hero who was decorated with numerous medals for bravery as part of his regiment in the Battle of Loos has been recognised with a road name honour at the new Trentham Manor housing development which is being delivered by St. Modwen Homes.
Part of Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s scheme to recognise the soldiers who left the region to fight in WW1, the ceremony took place yesterday (Thursday 29 October) and was attended by members of his family as well as Jean Bowers, Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent and the St. Modwen Homes’ construction team.
Gunner Davies, who went and came home from the conflict with his brothers Harry and Richard, was born in Burslem and is survived by his daughter Freda Lewis, now 90, who still lives in Newcastle-under Lyme, less than a mile from where she was born.
St. Modwen Homes, the housebuilder behind the new homes at Trentham Manor, has brought forward the road naming ceremony in order for Freda to see it.
The multi award-winning housebuilder was alerted to Freda by her cousin Keith Bailey from Milton whose mother was one of Thomas Davies’ sisters. Despite living only four miles from each other, Keith and Freda only met when she read an article in the local news about Keith’s grandson’s school project on WW1 which he based on his famous relative.
Born in 1892, Thomas lived his whole life, apart from his time in the army, in Stoke on Trent, working as a flat-ware maker in the pottery industry. He died in the city in 1969. He had a distinguished military career receiving six medals and commendations including the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1916 for bravery under fire at the Battle of Loos in 1915. The citation reads:
“For conspicuous gallantry. Gunner Davies exhibited great bravery and coolness in keeping-up communication between the Forward Observing Officer and the Battery, and it was mainly owing to his exertions that communication was never interrupted by the enemy's heavy and accurate shell fire."
He was also awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre for bravery on the battlefield by an allied force which was conferred to him by the then King of Belgium on 12 April 1918.
Nick Thawley, project manager for St. Modwen Homes said: “I’m very pleased we are recognising the extraordinary bravery of Gunner Thomas Davies by naming a road in his honour. It is a fantastic tribute to a man who served his country and this region.”
Stoke-on-Trent City Council deputy leader and the authority’s Armed Forces champion, councillor Abi Brown, said: “This street naming represents the latest in a series of commemorations across the city to mark the centenary of the Great War. It is right and fitting that we recognise the bravery of our local heroes who fought to give us our freedoms today.
“As part of the commemorations we made a commitment to work with developers at new home sites across the city to name new streets in honour of these heroes. This has already seen a new street named at Smithfield, in the city centre business district. We also have a replica First World War trench in place at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery for visitors to see the condition in which our war heroes fought. I’m pleased that we have been able to work with Gunner Davies’ family and St. Modwen Homes to continue the commemorations.”
The street sign has been placed at the entrance to Trentham Manor, located just off Stanley Matthews Way. Launched last month, Trentham Manor has proven extremely popular with more than 1,000 potential homeowners registered for more information. There is currently a range of one, two, three and four bedroom homes available to purchase, with prices starting from £152,995.
St. Modwen Homes is the residential part of St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist. St. Modwen has delivered multiple regeneration projects in Stoke, including The Trentham Estate and Gardens, Festival Park and Trentham Lakes, home of Stoke City FC’s Britannia Stadium.
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