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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
VLRS The Papers of Sir Charles Villiers
VNCT The Papers of Air Vice-Marshal Stanley Vincent
VNST The Papers of Lord Vansittart of Denham
VNST AS Illustrated sale brochure for Denham Place, Buckinghamshire
WCHL Other Deposited Collections Relating to Sir Winston Churchill
WDVS The Papers of Admiral Sir William Wellclose Davis
WEIR Archives of 1st Viscount Weir
WEIS The Papers of Karl Weissenberg
WELL Memoirs of the Preparation of the Home Office War Book by Ronald Wells
WHTL The Papers of Sir Frank Whittle
WHTL AS Whittle Associated Papers
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The Papers of Admiral Sir William Wellclose Davis

Title The Papers of Admiral Sir William Wellclose Davis
Reference GBR/0014/WDVS
Creator Davis, Sir William Wellclose, 1901-1987, Knight, Admiral
Covering Dates c 1976-c 1977
Extent and Medium 2 archive boxes
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

William Davis born in Simla, Punjab, India, in October 1901, the elder son of Walter Stewart Davis, of the Indian political service. He was educated at Summer Fields School, Oxford, and then Royal Naval College at Osborne, Isle of Wight, and Dartmouth College.

He first served as a midshipman on "HMS Neptune" (September 1917-February 1919), and was promoted at various stages of his career before being made Commander in 1935. He then became Fleet Torpedo Officer and Staff Officer, Plans, to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, before being appointed Executive Officer of the "HMS Hood" in January 1939. He served on "Hood" until August 1940.

Promoted captain in December 1940, Davis went to the Admiralty as Deputy Director of Plans. He was for a time seconded to the staff of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes, director of combined operations.

From March 1943 to September 1944 he was given command of the cruiser "Mauritius", before returning to the Admiralty.

After World War Two he was appointed Director of the Admiralty's Underwater Weapons Division and then he became Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet (1948–9). He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1950 and served as Naval Secretary to the Admiralty. From 1952 to 1954 he was flag officer, second in command, Mediterranean Fleet, when the first Earl Mountbatten of Burma was commander-in-chief. He was appointed as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff in 1954 and (as a full Admiral) served as Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, and NATO Commander-in-Chief in the eastern Atlantic from 1958-60

He was appointed CB in 1952, KCB in 1956, and GCB in 1959.

He retired in 1960 and died in October 1987.

Davis' memoirs, recording his long naval career and the ships he served on

The memoirs were presented to Churchill Archives Centre by Admiral Davis between 1976 and 1981.

The papers are owned by Churchill College, Cambridge.

Access and Use

The papers are open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Admiral Sir William Wellclose Davis, WDVS

Further information

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, and the National Register of Archives, London, and on the Janus website at http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk.

A fuller description of individual folders is also available in an original catalogue at Churchill Archives Centre.

This collection level (fonds) description and summary catalogue were prepared by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre in June 2005, using information from Davis' entry in Who Was Who (A and C Black).

Index Terms
First World War (1914-1918)
Naval Personnel
Second World War (1939-1945)
Davis, Sir William Wellclose (1901-1987) Knight, Admiral
Churchill/WDVS contains:
1/1 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covring 1901-34.
1 folder.
1/2 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1934-40.
1 folder.
1/3 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1940-42.
1 folder.
1/4 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1942-45.
1 folder.
1/5 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1945-54.
1 folder.
1/6 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1954-60.
1 folder.
1/7 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1974-77.
1 folder.
1/8 Portion of Davis' autobiography "My Life" covering 1974-77.
2 copies, original & duplicate.

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