First World War pair and RAF MSM group – , 6 Squadron R.F.C. and Royal Air Force, an early motor engineer who had been driving since 1906, awarded the RAF MSM in the very first batch in June 1918.
British War and Victory Medal, Royal Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, GV, 30054 Corporal A.W.T. Davey. R.A.F.
Arthur William Thomas Davey, was born in 1884 in Devon.
When he joined the Royal Flying Corps he had been an engineer for many years a Driver and Motor Fitter and was aged 32 on 6th June 1916.
Two months later he arrived in France with the B.E.F. on 27th August 1916 , serving abroad for 3 years until 17th May 1919.
Enlisted as 2nd Airman on 6th June 1916, appointed 1st Airman on 1st April 1917, then promoted Corporal on 1st March 1918, transferred to the RAF as Corporal Mechanic on 1st April 1918, appointed Sergeant Mechanic on 1st December 1918, then Flight Sergeant on 1st March 1919.
His RAF trade was a “Fitter (A.E.)” and he served for the rest of the war with 6 Squadron, which is now the longest serving operational squadron of the R.A.F. being an original squadron formed in January 1914.
It was quite the squadron to be in for an experienced Motor Engineer like Davey, 6 Squadron had a number of Flying Pioneers and were fuelled by the crazy experiments of Louis Strange and Lanoe Hawker VC, Louis Strange was constantly coming up with new ideas for the new concept of Aerial Combat, nearly losing his life in the first Victoria Cross award for Air Combat in July 1915.
After the war he transferred to 5 Squadron on 27th April 1919, being discharged on 17th May 1919.
He had seen continuous service in France with only 2, two week breaks during the war.
He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in the London Gazette of 3rd June 1918, this was the very first award of the RAF M.S.M. with 104 being issued, out of the 872 to be later awarded in total, he must have been quite the engineer having only been in the RFC since August 1916.
Like most early Motoring workers and enthusiasts he had his own car and in 1927 ended up causing a massive accident and receiving a colossal fine of £25 13s 8d, he claims to have been driving since 1906.
He was once again brought into court and fined, Western Gazette of 17th October 1930, states he was caught using improper use of a general trade motor license, being fined 40 shillings, being caught on a holiday in his trade only motor car, claiming to have another identical one with a full private license.