CAVAYE, Douglas Kenneth

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Notes
  5. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
World War I
Date of Enlistment
Date of Discharge
Place of Enlistment
Melbourne, Victoria

Personal Details

Place of Birth
Lord Howe Island NSW
Address (at enlistment)
Fitzroy, Victoria (previously Canberra ACT)
School(s) Attended
Northcote School, Normal School (Auckland, New Zealand)
Next of Kin
Ethel Cavaye (mother), Auckland, New Zealand

Unit and Rank Details

Service Number
Final Rank
Final Unit
21 Battalion AIF


Cavaye's father Henry was an Indian born soldier who married in Sydney in 1889. Henry Cavaye served as a captain in the NSW Defence Corps and had been posted to Lord Howe Island by 1894 when Douglas was born. Cavaye's mother Ethel taught at the island's school. By 1900 the Cavayes were living at Goonellabah near Lismore in northern New South Wales but in 1905 the family was living in Auckland in New Zealand. However by 1911 Cavaye was in the Canberra district working as an axeman on surveying parties in the Territory for Charles Scrivener and Robert Rain until 1914. He may have been here earlier as a 'D. Cavaye' is shown as playing cricket for the Duntroon team in 1910.

He embarked from Melbourne in February 1917 as a Private with the 24th reinforcements for the 5th Battalion but just as his ship, the HMAT Ballarat, neared Devonport on the south coast of England on 25 April 1917 it was torpedoed by a German submarine. All on board, including Cavaye, were rescued. He was sent to France in August 1917 and joined the 21st Battalion in September 1917. He was wounded in the right arm during the Battle of Broodseinde on 4 October and evacuated to England for treatment. He returned to France in May 1918 after which his unit fought in the battles of Hamel, Amiens and Mont St Quentin. The 21st Battalion fought its last battle at Montbrehain on 5 October 1918 and the following day became the last Australian infantry battalion to be withdrawn from active service. He returned to Australia in February 1919. Notably there are two enquiries on his whereabouts in his service file. One is from Frances Shumack of Ainslie and the other from a woman at Huskisson on Jervis Bay. This suggests that Cavaye may have been attached to a survey party working in the Federal Territory at Jervis Bay.

He returned to New Zealand after the war and married Phyllis Powell in Christchurch in 1923. He died in New Zealand in 1961 aged 67 years.

Description - height 6 feet 2 inches, weight 180 pounds, chest 35-40 inches, fresh complexion, blue eyes, fair hair, Church of England, mole on his left chest, scar on his left thumb.


National Archives (A202) 1914/4381 Full names of Officers and Employees, Federal Territory Salaries Register
National Archives (A206) Volume 5 Book No.5. Federal Capital (Yass-Canberra district) Copies of Correspondence, folio 379-380 (19 November 1911)
NAA RecordSearch - Series B2455 (First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920)
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'Dangerous Seas', ACT Heritage Library
Queanbeyan Age - 30 October 1910, 29 November 1910
Northern Star - 5 September 1900, 22 September 1900
Sydney Morning Herald - 16 September 1893, 19 February 1905
Auckland Star - 7 November 1917

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