Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Mercer Davies
LSA (1879) MRCS (1880) DPH (Camb 1889)
17 Sep 1853 [Westminster] – 25 Oct 1929 [Eltham Kent]
Colonel Arthur Mercer Davies was the son of the Rev Mercer Davies. He was educated at Westminster School where he was a Queen's Scholar. He took his degrees at Queens College, Cork taking the LSA in 1879, the MRCS in 1880 and subsequently the DPH at Cambridge in 1889. He passed First into the Army Medical Services examination in 1881 and was commissioned in July 1881.
He became Professor of Hygiene at the Royal Army Medical College Millbank, London and was the author of the Handbook of School Hygiene for Army Schools.
Colonel A M Davies served in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, the Sudan Expedition of 1884 and the Nile Expedition of 1884–85. He married Evelyn daughter of Captain David Aird RN, who in January 1930 described her husband as:
a brilliant classical scholar, a great traveller, indeed travel was his chief hobby, and while in Egypt he went to Palestine and spent several days going round Jerusalem with General Gordon. He was a good and great man and did not posses an enemy in the world.
30 July 1881 Entered the army as Surgeon-Captain.
Aug 1882–85 Served in the Egyptian Campaign (13 July–13 Sep 1882). He received the Medal and the Bronze Star. In 1884, he was present at the Battles of El Teb and Tamai and subsequently up the Nile at Korosko, receiving the two clasps and the clasp for the Nile in the Sudan Expedition of 1884–85.
The threat to the route to India via the Suez canal which opened in 1869, mismanagement of Egypt's financial affairs by its ruler the Khedive Ismail Pasha, and a popular nationalist uprising by Ahmad Urabi Pasha Al–Misri, led to the dispatch of an Expeditionary Force under the command of Lieutenant–General Sir Garnet Wolseley to stabilise the country. The Egyptians were defeated in the Battle of Tel–el–Kebir on 13 September 1882, and Britain took control of Egypt.
1884–1885 Served in the Sudan.
Possession of Egypt gave Britain responsibility for the Egyptian empire to the south in Sudan. Continued turbulence and unrest, eventually led to Britain's withdrawal from Sudan in 1896.
1886–1892 Appointed Assistant Professor of Military Hygiene at the Army Medical School Netley where he stayed for six years before embarking for India in 1892.
1892 Embarked for India where he served for nearly nine years. Appointed Sanitary Advisor to the Government of India. On return to England from India, he was employed as a Sanitary Advisor at the War Office.
30 July 1893 Promoted Surgeon-Major.
30 July 1901 Promoted Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.
19 May 1905 Arrived at Malta as part of The Mediterranean Fever Commission 1904–1906.
The members of the Mediterranean Fever Commission 1904 were: Major William Horrocks RAMC, Staff–Surgeon Ernest Shaw RN, Dr Themistocles Zammit, Dr Ralph Johnstone, Captain James Crawford Kennedy RAMC, and Staff-Surgeon Ernest Gilmour RN.
7 Oct 1905 Returned to England.
1 Feb 1906–1908 Appointed Professor of Hygiene Royal Army Medical College Millbank. Held the Chair until his retirement in 1908.
7 June 1907 Highly commended by the Royal Society for services rendered in connection with the investigations into the causes of Mediterranean Fever.
17 Sep 1908 Retired. Post retirement was Medical Inspector of School Children in the Public Health Department of the London County Council up to 1919.
He was author of a standard Handbook of Hygiene, The Food of the Soldier (1889) and a large number of official reports and contributions to the medical press chiefly on subjects connected with Public Health, Military Hygiene and Bacteriology.
- Entry No: 6858. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898). Aberdeen (1917).
- Distribution of RAMC Officers. Corps News Vol IV: 6; June 1905.
- Succession Books Vol XVI, Returns of statement of service of RAMC Officers.
- Deaths in the Services, Br Med J (1929), 936 (Published 29 November 1929).