Sunday 30 April 2017
Leon Victor Davies came to Australia in 1926, aged 19 years, aboard the SS Ballarat. Travelling under his birth name of Leonard Wilkes, he chose to use his widowed mother’s maiden name, in his new country.
Among other things, he was an able soccer player, playing in the Aston Villa Reserves as a teenager. In later years, he was to represent NSW.
As for most Dreadnought Boys, his early years of farm life were challenging, but Leon Davies had a way to express his young thoughts – in poetry. He wrote many poems during this stage of his life. Here is one, written in 1930, while he worked in the Upper Hunter area.
If the day is dark and dreary never mind,
there is always something cheery you can find.
The world is ever waiting for the brightness
of your smile and the work your hands are
made for, is the work that’s worth the while.
Find the work your hands are made for
it is lying ever near. If your heart is in your labour
you will do it never fear. You must leave your
doubt behind you, life goes on before.
Life is waiting for your effort, just beyond an open door.
If the clouds are dark and dreary never mind,
you can see the sun behind them, leave your fear
behind. Forward into battle knowing help is near,
always grasp the metal boldly always do the thing you