Arthur Rhys Davids was shot down and killed in October 1917. He was just twenty and had been flying over the Western Front with 56 Squadron for six months. He had entered the Royal Flying Corps direct from Eton College. In his brief operational career he was awarded the Military Cross twice and the Distinguished Service Order once. In the opinion of the commanding officer of his squadron he deserved the Victoria Cross. He came to public fame through shooting down the German ace Werner Voss.Rhys Davids was more than an outstanding fighter pilot, he was a man of thought as well as a man of action. Coming from an intellectual family, he was a brilliant classicist and popular with his fellow pilots in the RFC including James McCudden.Alex Revell has written a sensitive and deeply moving biography. It is based on letters from Rhys Davids early boyhood days at Eton to his last letter written on the night before he died.Alex Revell has written many aviation books and is respected amongst literary community
BRIEF GLORY The Life of Arthur Rhys Davids DSO
Arthur Rhys Davids was a friend and Squadron pilot with Albert Ball V.C. and the legendary McCudden V.C. both from the Squadron of Aces, number 56 Squadron. This was the Squadron formed from the “Top Guns” of the day to get Richthofen and his Flying Circus of aces, with whom they clashed several times. Rhys-Davids certainly fought many of these top German aces, including Werner Voss, He shot down around 23 of their number before he himself was killed.His epitaph was spoken best by the great ace McCudden V.C who said: “If ever you saw a single fighter, fighting like hell amongst a crowd of Germans over the front lines in 1917, then that was Rhys-Davids”.