Military Medal: Private P Davey, 10 Battalion, AIF

Accession Number RELAWM16838
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Award
Physical description Silver
Location Main Bld: Hall of Valour: Main Hall: Defence to Offensive
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Military Medal (Geo V). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Phillip Davey was born at Unley, Adelaide, on 10 October 1896 and was a horse driver before enlisting as private 1327 in the 10th Battalion in December 1914. He was invalided home from Gallipoli, but returned to his unit in France in 1916 before being accidentally wounded in March 1917 and gassed in October. In January 1918 he won the Military Medal. The citation for the award reads:

'On the night of 3rd January, 1918 near WARNETON when on patrol one of our men was badly wounded by machine gun fire. On seeing this from a forward post, L/Cpl. DAVEY crawled out through our wire to a distance of 60 yards and with another N.C.O. brought in the wounded man. This was done under a bright moon and under heavy enemy machine gun fire. The work of this N.C.O. was greatly admired by his Officers and all who witnessed it.'

Remarkably, his two brothers received the same award.

At Merris, on 28 June 1918, Davey's platoon came under heavy fire and the commander was killed. Survivors sheltered in a ditch under almost point-blank fire from a German machine-gun. Davey launched a solo attack on the enemy until forced to return for more grenades. Attacking again, he killed the crew and captured the gun, then used it to mount a successful counter-attack until he was severely wounded. For his actions at Merris, Davey, initially recommended for a Distinguished Conduct Medal, was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Davey's wounds effectively ended his active service. After the war he worked in the signals and telegraph branch of the South Australian Railways. He suffered for years with bronchitis and emphysema before his death on 21 December 1953.

Davey’s Military Medal is preceded by the Victoria Cross and accompanied by service medals for the First World War, and coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.