Basil Davey

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Maj Gen Basil Charles Davey CB CBE
Maj Gen Basil Davey; Commandant, The Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham (1953)
Birth name Basil Charles Davey
Born (1897-11-21)21 November 1897
St. Lawrence, Jersey
Died 20 November 1959(1959-11-20) (aged 62)
Russell Square, London
Place of burial St. Lawrence's churchyard, St. Lawrence, Jersey
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1916–1954
Rank Major General
Commands held
Other work
  • Jurat (Jersey) (1955-1959)

Major General Basil Charles Davey, CB CBE (21 November 1897 – 20 November 1959) commanded the group with principal responsibility for bridging the various major obstacles as part of Operation Market Garden and later became Commandant of the Royal Military College of Science.

Early life and career[edit]

Basil Davey was educated at Blundell's School in Tiverton, RMA in Woolwich and at Jesus College, Cambridge.

He was commissioned Second Lieutenant into the Royal Engineers 26 August 1916 and saw active service with 1 Field Squadron during the First World War, where he was Mentioned in Dispatches. He was promoted Lieutenant on 26 February 1918. After the war, in around 1920, he was posted to India with the 2nd Queen Victoria's Own Sappers and Miners. In 1926 he returned to Aldershot and was promoted captain on 24 September.

While based in Aldershot, Basil Davey married Enid Sanford Tudor Tudor, niece of both Admiral Sir Frederick Charles Tudor Tudor KCB KCMG and Admiral Henry Morton Tudor on 23 Jun 1926 at St Martin in the Fields, London.

In 1928, Captain Davey was posted to Catterick as Assistant Chief Royal Engineer (Asst-CRE). In October 1930 he was posted as an Instructor (Engineering) to the Royal Military College of Canada, in Ontario, until July 1934. On return from Canada, Davey was posted to Chatham to take command of a Squadron Training Battalion, Chatham. While in Chatham he was promoted Major on 16 July 1936 and qualified as an Interpreter (1st Class). In 1938, Maj Davey returned to Catterick.

Second World War[edit]

At the start of the Second World War Davey was appointed Chief Royal Engineer of 6 Armoured Division and saw service in Algeria and Tunisia. In 1943 he was promoted to Brigadier and was engaged on planning for the invasion of Sicily. He took part in the operation as the Chief Engineer (‘CE’) of XXX Corps.

XXX Corps was subsequently called home to take part in the Normandy Landings and Davey remained the Corps' CE, through Operation Overlord, the crossing of the Seine and Operation Market Garden. For his services he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 23 Mar 1944 and returned to England in November 1944.

In early 1945 he was posted to Italy as CE 8th Army and in May 1945 became the CE of the British Force that advanced into Austria. He was awarded the US Legion of Merit (Commander) at Schloß Schönbrun on 1 September 1946.

Post war[edit]

Davey returned to England in 1947 and the following year was appointed Commandant of the Royal School of Military Engineering.

On 1 Aug 1951 [1] he became Commandant of the Royal Military College of Science in acting rank and was promoted to substantive Major General on 14 May 1952.[2] On 1 Jun 1951,[3] he was made an Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Second Class, or Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

He retired from the Army on 20 Sep 1954[4] and lived in Jersey, where he was a Jurat of the Royal Court of Jersey.

Military service[edit]

26 Aug 1916 Second Lieutenant

26 Feb 1918 Lieutenant

24 Sep 1926 Captain

16 Jul 1936 Major

1 Aug 1942 Lieutenant Colonel

23 Mar 1944 Commander of the Order of the British Empire

1 Aug 1945 Colonel

1 Sep 1946 Legion of Merit (Commander)

29 Nov 1949 Brigadier

1 Jun 1951 Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Second Class of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath

14 May 1952 Major General

20 Sep 1954 Retired from Active Service

21 Nov 1957 Removed from the Retired List


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39301. p. 4153. 31 July 1951. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39618. p. 4233. 5 August 1952. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 39243. p. 3063. 7 June 1951. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40280. p. 5367. 17 Sep 1954. Retrieved 18 January 2012.