Midshipman Robert Ian Davies

Midshipman Robert Ian Davies

Robert Ian DaviesRobert Ian Davies was born on 13 November 1923 at Greenwich, New South Wales and joined the Navy as a cadet midshipman on 1 January 1937. In March 1941 Davies joined the British battle cruiser HMS Repulse as a substantive midshipman.

Repulse, the battleship HMS Prince of Wales, and four destroyers formed Force Z, which was sent from Britain to the Far East in late 1941 and arriving in Singapore on 2 December.  On 10 December, Force Z came under a heavy Japanese air attack off the Malayan coast and in the ensuing engagement both Prince of Wales and Repulse were lost. 

Davies was reported to have been firing an Oerlikon gun at enemy aircraft when he and the gun mounting were slowly submerging.  Davies received a posthumous Mention in Despatches for his actions.

In 2011, Davies was listed in the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into unresolved recognition for past acts of naval and military gallantry and valour.  The following link is to Chapter 12 of the Report of the Inquiry, which focusses on Davies.

Chapter 12 – Midshipman Robert Ian Davies


The Tribunal received 9 written submissions that included reference to Davies.

Submissions Received

 Submission 86 – Mr John Bradford

Submission 89 – Nowra Greenwell Point RSL Sub-Branch

Submission 92 – Mr Mike Carlton

Submission 99 – Mr Graham Wilson Annex D Davies

Submission 102 – Mr David Amos

Submission 123 – Mr Peter Cooke-Russell, National Vice-President, The Naval Association of Australia

Submission 124 – Mr Richard Pelvin

Submission 142 – Mr Graham Harris, National President, The Navy League of Australia

Submission 174 – Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths RAN (Retd)


Photo of Robert Ian Davies courtesy of Mr David Amos

by Ken McFadyen
Oil on canvas on hardboard, 1968

RAAF's first operation over North Korea
Robert Taylor
Oil on canvas, 1986