Jack Llewelyn Davies

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Jack Llewelyn Davies
JackLlewelynDavies20.jpg
Davies in naval uniform in 1914 at age 20
Born (1894-09-11)11 September 1894
London
Died 17 September 1959(1959-09-17) (aged 65)
Known for foster son of J. M. Barrie

John "Jack" Llewelyn Davies (11 September 1894 – 17 September 1959) was the second eldest of the Llewelyn Davies boys befriended by Peter Pan creator J. M. Barrie, and one of the inspirations for the boy characters in the famous story of Neverland. He served in the Royal Navy during World War I. He was the first cousin of the English writer Daphne du Maurier.

Childhood[edit]

Davies in The Boy Castaways, almost 7 years old

Davies and his elder brother George first met the writer on their regular outings in Kensington Gardens with their nurse Mary Hodgson and infant brother Peter in 1897. He and George were the audience for the fantastic stories in which Barrie conceived of the character of Peter Pan. They took part in play adventures with Barrie which provided much of the inspiration for the adventures in the 1904 stage play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and its subsequent adaptations. Shortly before writing the play, Barrie made a photo book titled The Boy Castaways, featuring the three oldest brothers pretending to be shipwrecked on an island and fighting pirates, themes that later appeared in the Peter Pan story. The character of John Darling, the older of Wendy's brothers, was named after him.

In 1906 Davies was recommended by Barrie to Captain Robert F. Scott for a position at Osborne Naval College, which was unlike his brothers, who all attended Eton College. Following the deaths of his parents Arthur (1907) and Sylvia (1910), Barrie assumed guardianship of him and his brothers. He reportedly harboured some resentment of Barrie, at times believing the writer was trying to take his father's place (especially after his father died). He was not as close to the writer as were his brothers, especially George and Michael.[1]

Adulthood[edit]

Just before his mother's death, he joined the Royal Navy and served in the North Atlantic during World War I. His brother George was killed in action in 1915. His brother Michael drowned in an apparent accident in 1921. His brothers Peter and Nico (the youngest) out-lived him.

He married 19-year-old Geraldine "Gerrie" Gibb in 1917, without first asking permission of Barrie, who only grudgingly approved of the relationship. Nonetheless, Barrie gave the couple charge of the Davies family house, where Michael and Nico still lived during school holidays, in the care of Mary Hodgson. Friction between Gerrie and Hodgson led to the elder woman's resignation. Davies had two children: Timothy, born in 1921, and Sylvia Jocelyn (named for Davies' mother, but always known as Jane), born in 1924.

He died in 1959 at the age of 65, several months before his brother Peter committed suicide.

Portrayals[edit]

In the 1978 BBC mini-series The Lost Boys, he was portrayed at various ages by Nicholas Borton, Guy Hewitt, David Wilson, and Osmund Bullock.

In the 2004 film Finding Neverland, he was portrayed as a child by Joe Prospero.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Birkin, Andrew, J. M. Barrie and the Lost Boys.