Ferris, David (Dave)
No. 64, 28th Battalion, Australian Infantry, AIF
Killed in action on Saturday 29 July 1916 (aged 39)
No known grave
Australian War Memorial
Villers-Bretonneuxi Memorial, Somme, France
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
In the CWGC Debt of Honour Website it is recorded that Private David Ferris (No. 64) was a son of James and Margaret Gagburn Ferris and the husband of Bertha Ferris of 203 Barker Road, Subiaco, Western Australia.
In his attestation papers David Ferris declared that he was 38 years old, he was born in Holywood; he was a shipwright (seven years with Harland and Wolff) and he cited his brother William as his next-of-kin. It was noted that he was 6 feet and ½ inch tall with a red complexion, grey brown eyes and red brown hair. Later his next-of-kin was named as his widow, Bertha Ferris (nee Chapman) who lived in Subiaco, Western Australia – at 264 York Street and 199 Barker Road. In March 1920 Bertha Ferris moved to England and she lived at 28 Caldicote Street, Newport Pagnell in Buckinghamshire.
David Ferris was born on 16 February 1877 in Knocknagoney and he was a son of James and Margaret Ferris (nee Geoghegan, sometimes Keegan) who were married on 24 October 1867 in Aghaderg Parish Church of Ireland Church, Loughbrickland, Co Down. James Ferris, a ploughman from the townland of Drumnahare, was a son of Robert Ferris, a labourer. Margaret Geoghegan from Drumnahare was a daughter of James Geoghegan, a farmer.
James and Margaret Ferris (nee Geoghegan, sometimes Keegan) had at least five children:
Thomas (born 22 February 1872 in Ballymave, Magheragall)
William James (born around 1874/1875)
David (born 16 February 1877 in Knocknagoney)
Mary Helena (born 23 March 1880 in Kinnegar, Holywood)
Francis Paul (Frank, born 12 May 1883 in Kinnegar, Holywood)
David Ferris, known as Dave) enlisted on 25 February 1915 at Blackboy Hill, Western Australia. He left Australia on 9 June 1915 and served with the 28th Battalion, Australian Infantry. On 29 July 1916 Private David Ferris (No. 64) was reported missing in action and then it was reported that he had been captured at Pozieres, transported to Germany and held as a prisoner-of-war. On 25 July 1918 a Court of Enquiry decided that the prisoner-of-war report was ‘based on erroneous information’ and officially concluded that he must be presumed to have been killed in action. His widow, Bertha, received his Memorial Plaque and Victory Medal on 29 November 1923.
Private David Ferris (No. 64) is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial; on the Villers-Bretonneuxi Memorial, Somme, France and in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour.