Federation University Australia Historical Collection (Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre), Mount Helen
A number of photographs of a tree and marble plaque in the grounds of the Ballarat School of Mines. It was a memorial to Francis Davis, a former student of the Ballarat Junior Technical School, who died on active service during World War One.
Francis Gordon Davis was born in Ballarat on 09 August 1899. He is the only former student of the Ballarat Junior Technical School who was killed on service during World War One.
Davis enlisted into the Australian Flying Corps, Laverton, on 12 April 1918 at which time he was 18 and 8 months and served as a second class Air Mechanic. His service number was 3310.
He died accidentally from shock resulting from an accident resulting from skidding a Leyland Motor Lorry at Leighterton, Tetbury, Gloucester, England on 28 January 1919 and is buried in Grave 6 in the Soldiers Corner of the Leighterton Cemetery.
Francis Davis was accorded a full military funeral, firing party, bugler and pallbearers. The coffin was draped in the Union Jack and surmounted in several beautiful wreathes sent from his brother 2/A.M. E.H. Davis (A.F.C Leighterton), officer of the A.F.C. Leighterton, Gloucester, Cadets of A.F.C. and many other personal friends of the deceased. The "Last Post" was sounded at the graveside, and the Rev. Major K.D. Norman C. of E. A.I.F. officiated. The grave was to be turfed and an oak cross erected by the A.I.F. London. Administrative Headquarters A.I.F. London were represented at the funeral. (http://bih/index.php/Francis_G._Davis)
In June 1922 Alfred Davis, the father of Francis Davis, planted a tree in the grounds of the Ballarat Junior Technical School in honour of hos son. It was the first tree of six planted in the grounds of the Ballarat School of Mines on Arbor Day 1922. Speaking of the planting of the tree by Mr Davis the Chief Secretary (Mr M. Baird M.L.A.), said he trusted the memory would ever remain green at the school. Had he and others not given their lives nothing that we could have done to-day could have retrieved the time. Australians had indeed done splendidly, but they should take a wider outlook than Australia, and reading the history of the Genoa Conference he had been struck by what had been done ... We should honor such men as he in whose memory that tree was planted, and the schools that sent them out to fight for us. He hoped the empire would always be able to produce such men, so that the Empire would always be able to lead the World's struggle for the benefit of humanity. The last post was then sounded by Mr. H. Green. ... (Ballarat Courier, 19 June 1922)