Corporal Phillip Davey VC

Phillip Davey. D00067 Phillip Davey

Date of birth: 10 October 1896
Place of birth: Unley, Adelaide, SA
Date of death: 21 December 1953
Place of death: Repatriation General Hospital, Springbank, SA

Phillip Davey was born at Unley, Adelaide, and was a horse driver before enlisting in the 10th Battalion in December 1914. He was invalided home from Gallipoli, but returned to his unit in France in 1916. He was accidentally wounded in March 1917 and gassed in October. In January 1918 he won the Military Medal. 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 wounded.

Davey's wounds were severe and he was sent to Britain. 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 in 1953.

Davey was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Military Medal, service medals for the First World War, and coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

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