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Today in History

Name: Francis James Davies
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Francis James Davies
Country: England
Rank: Captain
Service: Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Units: 29
Victories: 12
Born: 20 October 1889
Place of Birth: Alcester, Warwickshire
Died: 07 March 1941
Place of Death:  
Francis James Davies joined the Royal Flying Corps in May 1917. He was posted to 29 Squadron where he scored 12 victories. He was wounded in action on 12 August 1918 and crash landed. He flew no more combat missions.
    It is with regret that we record the passing of Captain Francis James Davies of the Royal Air Force, on Friday in last week at Bath, after a motor accident on the previous Wednesday night. Captain Davies was well known to many people in the district particularly at Redditch, Studley and Great Alne. He was the youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Davies, and was born at Hunt End. His parents moved to "The Willows" Studley, where his younger years where mainly spent. He was educated at Studley Roman Catholic School, a Keen sportsman, hockey was one of his favourite games and he was a prominent member of the Redditch Club.
    Always keen on engineering and mechanics Captain Davies entered the old Royal Flying Corps in the last war. His career was of high merit. His skill and daring accounted for plane after plane of the Germans. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and advanced to the rank of Captain. He was severely wounded in the arm, but made a good recovery.
    In 1920 Captain Davies married Miss Doris Edkins, Elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs Arthur Edkins, then of Shelfield House, and now of "Appleby," Great Alne. A daughter and two sons were born to them. After a few years at "Ardencote" Shelfield Green, Captain Davies and his family went to Prestatyn, North Wales. He was thus in close touch with Chester where he was in business as a motor engineer. Besides this, he had many business interests, and was chairman of Messrs. Martin James, Ltd., Redditch. Captain Davies retained his love for flying. But a disability due to his wound prevented him from piloting an aeroplane. In consequence, he became an enthusiastic Glider, and was made chairman of the Midland Gliding Club. He had many flights from the clubs headquarters on the Longmynd, near Church Stretton.
    Last year the war caused the break-up of his family. Though over fifty years of age he entered the R.A.F. and became a staff-officer. His daughter Miss Mary Davies remained in touch with her father in England, but Mrs Davies took her two boys to Canada with them and his sister and brothers, widespread sympathy will be felt. Captain Davies will be remembered as a man of high courage, energy, and initiative and charm of manner and the Royal Air Force has lost a valuable and experienced officer.

    The funeral took place at St. Mary`s Roman Catholic Church, Studley on Tuesday morning. Solemn Requiem Mass was held, the Rev Father B.L.Rigby O.S.B. (Rector) officiating. The funeral immediately followed and was conducted by the Rev. Father S. J. Marron O.S.B. Mrs M Macarthy was at the organ. The coffin which was of plain oak with oxidized crucifix and fittings bore the following inscription; "Captain Francis James Davies, died March 7th 1941, aged 51 years."
    The family mourners were Miss Mary Davies (daughter), Mr Joe Davies (Brother), Mr and Mrs C Hewitt (sister and brother in law), Mrs T Davies (sister in law), Mr A Edkins Great Alne (father in law), Mr H Edkins (uncle), Mrs A Biggs (niece), Mr Frank Hewitt (nephew), Mr Fred Stubbins (nephew), Mrs Stubbins (niece), Mr and Mrs R Jephcott (sister and brother in law), Mr and Mrs H Heath (nephew and niece).
    Among those present were Messrs. J H. Phillips, R Baker and F Gee (representing the Enfield Cycle Company Ltd. With whom at one time Captain Davies served as a Traveller), G. C. Hill (representing the 29th Squadron R.F.C.), W. G. Thomas, A. Hince, W. Huxley, Mr C Fisher (Erdington), Mr and Mrs Mallet (Erdington), Mr and Mrs G. Monk, Mr and Mrs B. Franklin, Mr and Mrs A. G. Davis, Mr Woodward Jephcott, Mr W. Griffiths, Miss B. Pegg and Mr E. T Allen.
    The Floral Tributes included the following:- "Broken hearted wife;" Jack, Lil, Mil, Tom and Mary; Eoin Mitchell; Aggie, Charlie, Molly and Stanley and Marjorie; The staff Davies Bros., Chester; Sossam Will, Erdington; Maude and Charlie; Violet Wright; Officers Mess Ruddlon Manor; Directors of the Enfield Cycle Company; Dorie and Jan; J & W Aldriede (Cheshire); Mr and Mrs G Hince; Herbert, Mabel and Gordon; Sergeants Mess Ruddlon Manor; George Denley, Velocette Motor Cycle Company; Margaret Fred and Children; R.A.F. Station Rudloe; B.S.A. Cycles, Birmingham; Edna and Reg, Little Brook Close; Mr and Mrs W.G. Thomas; Ted Neen and Jean; Mr and Mrs A Edkins; all at Manor Farm; Gwen and Percy; Amy and Freddie; Jody, Pa, K. and Jack; Wulston and Sussie; Auntie Lee and Uncle George; Babbe and Taffy; Frank, Winnie and Joan; Auntie Elsie, Uncle Bert; Marjorie and Frank; Elsie and Alfred; Employees of Martin James Ltd.; Mummy, Mary, John and Michael; John and Michael; Harry Brent, Prestatyn; Freda, Harold, Mabel and John; M. Fergusson (London).
    The Funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr J Washbourne, Studley.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Francis James Davies.
   During recent operations this officer has accounted for five enemy aeroplanes. Bold in attack and skilful in manoeuvre, he is a valuable airman who sets a fine example to all.
Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 18 Mar 1918 1145 29 Nieuport (B6815) Pfalz D.III (OOC) SE of Rumbeke
2 19 May 1918 1100 29 S.E.5a (D5957) Albatros D.V (DES) S of Bailleul
3 26 May 1918 1835 29 S.E.5a DFW C (DES) 1 B of Bailleul
4 27 May 1918 0525 29 S.E.5a (D5967) Albatros D.V (OOC) Becelaere
5 29 May 1918 1950 29 S.E.5a (D3931) Albatros D.V (OOC) Armentières
6 30 May 1918 1520 29 S.E.5a (D6159) Albatros D.V (DES) Armentières
7 18 Jun 1918 0815 29 S.E.5a (D5963) C (DESF) Merville
8 27 Jun 1918 1415 29 S.E.5a (D6874) Halberstadt C (OOC) W of Armentières
9 04 Jul 1918 1835 29 S.E.5a Rumpler C (DES) W of Armentières
10 14 Jul 1918 0530 29 S.E.5a (D5963) Halberstadt C (DESF) NE of Estaires
11 09 Aug 1918 1735 29 S.E.5a (D6944) Hannover C (DES) W of Laventie
12 11 Aug 1918 1345 29 S.E.5a (D6944) Balloon (DES) Courtrai

1 Shared with Lt Charles Ross, Capt Reginald Rusby
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