Rhys Davids attended Eton and received a scholarship to Oxford.
Fearing he might be shot down and captured, he always carried a book of Blake's poetry into combat. In his
first dogfight on 7 May 1917, his flight commander, Albert Ball, was shot down while
Rhys Davids survived an attack by Kurt Wolff of Jasta 11. On 23 September
1917, during one of the most famous dogfights of the war, he shot down a Fokker Triplane piloted by Werner Voss. When Karl Menckhoff arrived on the scene in an
Albatros Scout and attempted to assist Voss, Rhys Davids shot him down too. The following month, on 27 October 1917, Rhys Davids
was missing in action. He was last seen pursuing an Albatros east of Roulers. It is believed that his S.E.5a was shot down by Karl Gallwitz.
Listed as Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids in the London Gazette.
Military Cross (MC)
"2nd Lt. Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids, R.F.C., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion. On many occasions he has shot down hostile machines and put others out of action, frequently pursuing to low altitudes. On all occasions his fearlessness and dash have been most marked."
"2nd Lt. Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst on offensive patrols. He has in all destroyed four enemy aircraft, and driven down many others out of control. In all his combats his gallantry and skill have been most marked, and on one occasion he shot down an enemy pilot who had accounted for twenty-nine Allied machines. His offensive spirit and initiative have set a magnificent example to all.
(M.C. gazetted 18th July, 1917.)"
"2nd/Lt. Arthur Percival Foley Rhys-Davids, M.C., R.F.C., Spec. Res.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in bringing down nine enemy aircraft in nine weeks. He is a magnificent fighter, never failing to locate enemy aircraft and invariably attacking regardless of the numbers against him."