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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Henry James David


Name:  Henry James David

Rank:  Private

Service Number: 21634

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Battalion/Unit number: 6th Battalion

Date/year of Birth: 1883

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: 3, Palmerston Road, Taunton

Date of Death: 3 Sep 1916

Place of Death: France

Burial/Memorial: Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme

Henry was one of ten children born to Henry (or Harry) E David and his wife Julia, who were both from the Long Sutton area of Somerset.  Henry J may have known something of the military life as his grandfather, Edwin David (b.1827), was a Staff Sergeant in the 1st Somerset Militia.  

Henry enlisted in Taunton and joined the 6th Somerset Light Infantry, a battalion attached to the 43rd Brigade, 14th (Light) Division which served in France & Flanders throughout the war.  They took part in the Action of Hooge where the division was the first to be attacked with flamethrowers. 

At the end of August 1916, the battalion fought at Delville Wood and it was possibly in this action that Henry was killed.  The Taunton Courier for 6 September 1916 carries a note that Henry had been reported wounded and this was amended to wounded and missing on 30 Sept 1916. 

The Record of War Service Borough Returns for Taunton (available at the Somerset Heritage Centre) show that 24 men living in Palmerston Road joined up to serve their country.  Three of these men are remembered on the St James War Memorial (Henry David, Thomas Grinter and Arthur Rendell). 

Also recorded on the St James Roll of Honour and known to have died during the War was Harold Baxter who lived at 13, Palmerston Rd.  He served in the 2/5th Battalion of the Somerset light Infantry in Palestine and was killed in Jerusalem 23rd November 1917 aged 19 but for some reason his name is not included on the war memorial plaque.



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