Biography

Birth date: 10 October 1896
Birth place: Australia: South Australia, Goodwood
Death date: 21 December 1953
Death place: Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Final rank: Corporal
Service number: 1327 - First World War, 1914-1918
R1327 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion

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.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 27 June 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 02 February 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Medal

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Conduct Medal

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Military Medal

  • Unit: 10th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Photograph

H00175

A montage of nine portrait photographs taken at Westham camp. In the centre is a group portrait of fifteen Australian soldiers and is surrounded by individual portraits of eight of the men who are in the group portrait all of whom had been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). The central group...

H00175

H19440

Informal outdoors portrait of Corporal Phillip Davey VC MM, of 10th Battalion, AIF. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Merris, France. Same image held at D00067.

H19440

D00067

London, England. 20 September 1918. Informal outdoors portrait of Corporal Phillip Davey VC MM, of 10th Battalion, AIF. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Merris, France. Note the colour patch on his left shoulder which is purple over blue.

D00067

Private Record

Timeline

Date of birth 1896-10-10
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1914-12-22
Date of embarkation 1915-02-02
Date of embarkation 1916-06-27
Date wounded 1917-03-15 Accidently wounded.
Date wounded 1917-10-03 Gassed.
Date of honour or award 1918-01-03 Awarded the Military Medal.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-01-20
Date promoted 1918-04-24 Promoted to Corporal.
Date of honour or award 1918-06-28 Awarded for action at Merris, France whilst serving with the 10th Battalion.
Date wounded 1918-06-28 Wounded in an attack.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-07-10
Date returned to Australia 1918-10
Date of discharge 1919-02-24
Date of death 1953-12-21