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Walter Joseph Davis (1898–1940)

Following a long and painful illness, the death occurred on Wednesday last at Benalla of Mr. Walter Joseph Davis, at the early age of 42 years. Born at Beechworth on February 25, 1898, he was a son of Mrs. Sarah Isabella and the late Mr. Henry Owen Davis. He was educated at Beechworth. He became a noted athlete his successes including a treble at Shepparton (including the Gift), and he created a record by winning nine races during the day. He also won a double at Beechworth, a 50 handicap at Bundaberg (Q.), £50 at Grffith (N.S.W.), a £100 double at Hay (N.S.W.), races at Narrandera (where he was defeated in semi-final of the Gift), and he competed in two Stawell Gifts, being defeated in a semi-final on one occasion. During the Great War he was a lieutenant in the A.M.F. and went to Benalla in 1916 as an instructor. Always interested in fire brigade work, he became secretary of the Benalla brigade, and was stationkeeper for about ten years. During his long stay in Benalla he took a keen interest in various bodies, and was secretary of the Benalla Band, secretary of the Plumpton Coursing Club (during which he controlled a Waterloo Cup meeting), secretary of the Gun Club, secretary of the N.E. and G.V. Coursing Association, secretary of the Back to Benalla sports meeting, trustee of the racecourse, and secretary of the Benalla Speed Coursing Club. He was a bachelor, and is survived by his mother and the following brothers and sisters:— Edith (Mrs. Tolmie, Hawthorn), Ethel (Mrs. Isley, Hawthorn), George Ernest, Henry Owen, Ella (Mrs. P. Rebbechi), Beryl, and Albert Raymond, all of Benalla. Two brothers, Archibald Owen (A.I.F.) and Maxwell Owen, predeceased him.

The funeral on Thursday afternoon was very largely attended. After a short service at the Fire Brigade Station, where members of the Brigade formed a guard of honor, the funeral moved to the Benalla cemetery, where at deceased’s expressed wish, burial took place near the grave of the late Sir. J. Skelton, with whom he had enjoyed a long friendship. The burial service was conducted by the Rev. C. M. Kennedy, who spoke feelingly of the great fortitude with which the late Mr. Davis, had borne his illness. A large member of floral tributes was received, including wreaths from the National Coursing Club, the president and secretary of the N.C.C., and New Zealand Coursing club.

Original publication

Citation details

'Davis, Walter Joseph (1898–1940)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


25 February, 1898
Beechworth, Victoria, Australia


26 September, 1940 (aged 42)
Benalla, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (lymphoma)

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.