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Dr Laurence Llewellin (Llewellin) Davey (1889-1986)
Papers ca. 1896-1999

 MSS 0225


Biographical note

Llewellin Davey was born in Knightsbridge S.A. in 1889. He was educated initially at East Adelaide school and then from 1899 to 1906 at Prince Alfred College. He continued his education at the University of Adelaide (studying under William Bragg), graduating in 1913, and then worked at the Royal Adelaide Hospital for a year as House Surgeon.

In 1929-1930 he did post-graduate study in Sydney, London, Edinburgh, Vienna and Stockholm.

He married Doris Peacock at Kent Town Methodist Church in January 1915 and they moved to Laura where he was a ‘horse and buggy doctor’ from 1915 until 1921. On returning to St Peters in Adelaide, he worked in general practice for a further 23 years. For 17 years he was also Honorary Consulting Obstetrician at the Queen Victoria Hospital. He continued as a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist for over 20 years.

In 1955 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London. 30 years, later in his 96th year, he was appointed as a Foundation Member of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists when the Australian College was formed.

Dr Davey was on the Board of the Home for Incurables (later Julia Farr Centre) for 47 years where a ward was named after him. He also served on the Boards of Methodist Ladies College, Wesley College and the Memorial Hospital; served as a council member of the Australian Medical Association, Prince Alfred College (also as Treasurer and School Doctor for 16 years) and the Flying Doctor Service. He was also Mayor of St Peters and President of the Medical Benevolent Association of South Australia. In 1986 he was presented with the Advance Australia Award and recognised on the Honours List of South Australian Philanthropic Citizens. In 1989 he was recognised as the oldest gynaecologist in the British Empire. Dr Davey died in 1991 at the age of 102.

These papers and artefacts were donated by Dr Davey’s daughter, Jean Lang, in April 2017.

Contents Listing

Series 1:  Biographical

Folder 1

  • Photograph of Dr Davey 1930
  • Photo of Davey playing quoits on board the ‘Orontes’ 1941
  • Photo of Davey talking to Prince Phillip at garden party 1980s?
  • 2 photos of Davey in his 90s
  • Photo of Davey receiving certificates on the occasion of his 100th birthday, 1999
  • Certificate verifying that Davey was a Councillor and Mayor of St Peters 1954-56.
  • Newspaper clippings about Davey at the ages of 71, 89 (the oldest driver in South Australia), 92, 94, 97, 99 and 100 years old
  • Computer printed transcript of interview with Dr Davey from The News January? 1989
  • Ms pencil draft autobiographical notes by Davey (5 p.) Photocopy and transcription.
  • Biographical information on Lawrence [ie Laurence] Llewellin Davey, Thomas Horace Davey, Doris Allott Davey (nee Peacock), Edwin Davey, Reginald Argyle Davey, Arnold E. Davey, Sarah Davey, Robert Shannon Davey and Martha Shannon.
  • Invitation to Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Second Australian Conference Dinner, Hotel Australia, 22/8/1952
  • Biographical note on Davey from AMP Benefit Investment Plan publication ca 1986
  • Congratulatory letters from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on his 70th wedding anniversary and his 100th birthday, and from the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on his 70th wedding anniversary
  • Invitation to ceremony to announce his Advance Australia Award 1986
  • Sketch of Davey at 102 by Dowie 10/6/1991 (photocopy)
  • 4 colour slides of Davey in garden and with family
  • Flyer announcing Margaret Davey’s acceptance of position of Board of Management for the Home for Incurables, February 1972

Folder 2

  • Visit to Great Britain in May 1949 representing the British Medical Association (S.A. Branch) at the Harrogate British Medical Association Annual Meeting: includes Credential introducing Laurence LLewellin Davey signed by the Premier of South Australia, Thomas Playford; photograph of Davey at the meeting table; associated correspondence and documentation including the Handbook for the World Medical Association 3rd Annual Meeting in London, a notice of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists Annual Dinner and Davey’s ms report on the meeting to Dr Hunter (12 p.); Davey’s ms notes from meeting;  With information booklet for passage on the SS Orantes England to Australia voyage 19th January to 24th February 1950; Notes L.L. Davey made on 2 trips to medical conferences, Harrogate U.K. 1949 and India and Pakistan 1950, he was delegate for Australia. 

Folder 3

  • Visit to Pakistan for the Second All Pakistan Medical Conference Lahore February 1953 as delegate of British Medical Association (SA Branch): Preliminary and final programmes for conference and programmes of lectures; letter of introduction from the BMA (SA Branch); Credential introducing Laurence LLewellin Davey signed by the Premier of South Australia, Thomas Playford; Thomas Cook & Son typed itinerary for Dr and Mrs Davey (2 p.); invitations to dinner, receptions etc (11 items); ms notes for speech by Davey to the Confernce (2 p.); newspaper clipping re Dr Riaz Ali Shah’s speech at farewell lunch from the Civil and Military gazette; Davey’s ms recollections of the Lahore Conference (10 p.); 9 photographs of conference attendees (not captioned); 13 photographs / postcards of Indian and Pakistani scenes (not captioned); 17 small photographs of Lahore buildings, captioned (in envelope) plus lists of photographs taken and notes on India and Pakistan; ms notes for talk on Pakistan and India (12 p.); letter to Mr and Mrs Davey in India from their daughter Margaret and postcards from Mrs Davey in Lahore and Ceylon


  • LL Davey’s diaries of a world trip with his family in 1905-6 (at the age of 16) beginning “Wanderings of the Davey family in 1905.” 5 small black notebooks written in pencil, January 1905-October 1906
  • Calligraphed certificate from the University of Adelaide congratulating Davey on his 100th birthday, 12 May 1989 (in tube, stored in oversize box)
  • Certificate from the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists congratulating Davey on his 100th birthday, 10 June 1989 (in tube, stored in oversize box)

Series 2: Medical practice in Adelaide and Laura

Binder account book for Dr Davey’s medical practices in Adelaide and Laura 1922-28, arranged alphabetically by patient

  • Includes payments to Dr Verco for medical services

Ledger of practice revenue 1952-63 (begins part way through ledger formerly used for the deceased estate of Frank Vingoe Davey d. 1924). Also contains maintenance costs for Pt Noarlunga flats 1954-55 and St Peters Mayoral expenses 1954-56.

Ms notes etc.

  • Undated ms list of fees
  • Undated ms list of “Wirrabara fees”
  • Undated ms list of fees for lodge members
  • Undated ms note to Dr Dunstone re patients
  • 2 ms patient prescriptions, Laura, 1916
  • Ms list of disadvantages of a whole time salaried medical service (2 p., undated)


  • Bausch and Lomb microscope, in wooden case, with blank slides in box (ca 1915) (stored on oversize shelves)
  • Box of slides of medical specimens (stored in oversize box)

Glass and wood sign for Dr L.L. Davey. (stored in oversize box)

First Australian Medical Congress, May 1962

  • Portfolio containing official handbook and programme etc
  • Copy of The Sunny South: a pictorial review of South Australia (Rigby, 1962?) presented to delegates by Abbott laboratories, with custom stamp on cover

Series 3: Studies abroad 1929-30

3.1 Vienna

Notebooks (manuscript, illustrated)

  • Notebook of lectures taken by Dr Davey in Vienna 1929-30 – under Professor Frankl – cancer and treatment with radium, uterine and ovarian cancer and other gynaecological problems
  • Second notebook from Vienna containing notes from reference sources, diagrams etc
  • Small binder notebook with notes from gynaecology lectures in Vienna 1929-30 by Dr Pierssecker, Dr Katz, Dr Schiller, Dr Frankl, Dr Höfler
  • The American Medical Association of Vienna ‘Blue Book’ 25th Anniversary Number 1928-1930.

 3.2 Edinburgh

  • 4 sets of small notes, loosely bound with string etc, on gynaecology studies taken in Edinburgh, two dated 1929-30. Three are notes from lectures by Dr Witaker. Mr Wade and Prof. Fraser
  • Memorabilia
    • Hospital ticket for the Royal Infirmary May 1930
    • Receipt for payment for Edinburgh post-graduate courses in medicine May 1930
    • Programme for Edinburgh Post-graduate courses in medicine 1930
    • Ms class schedule
    • Class tickets for courses in Surgical Pathology and Clinical Surgery may-June 1930
    • Raffle ticket for lounge easy chair, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh - Pageant 1930
    • Medical and D.P.H. examination papers for the degrees of the University of Edinburgh and the diplomas of the Royal College of Surgeons … 1926-1929 (Edinburgh, 1930?)
    • Fellowship examination papers for the Diplomas of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh 1923-27

3.3 Chelsea Hospital for Women

  • Registration ticket for Fellowship of Medicine Special Course October 13-24 1930
  • Ms list of operations scheduled for 20th and 22nd August 1930, Chelsea Hospital for Women
  • Ms week schedule for surgery and ward visits, Chelsea Hospital for Women, with Drs Dodd, Cook, Goodwin and Rivett
  • Admission forms and fees for Chelsea Hospital for Women
  • Chelsea Hospital for Women. Fifty-ninth annual report for 1929
  • Syllabus of Special Post-Graduate Course in General Medicine and Surgery, Westminster Hospital, September 15-27th 1930
  • Small black notebook with notes on the use of radium in gynaecological treatment (notebook signed by Davey with South Kensington address)

Series 4: Correspondence

4.1 Correspondence, general

Medical equipment

  • Letter from E.W. Holden, Director of Holden’s Motor Body Builders, Adelaide, apologising for the delay in making(?) moist-air inhaler for Dr Davey 18/7/1919

Midnorthern Branch of the South Australian Branch of the British Medical Association

  • Typed (carbon copy) of a circular from G. Wien Smith of Clare 12/3/1920, proposing formation of Midnorthern branch
  • Ms list of Midnorthern medical practitioners for payment of levees, March 1920

Spring wheel

  • Letter from Ford Motor Company of Canada re testing of spring wheel developed by Dr Davey 13/7/1927

 4.2 Correspondence, Family

  • 20/3/1920 letter to LLewellin from his brother Bob re his ship passage to Colombo to meet their mother and arrangements for condolence cards to be ordered for the death of their father (Llewellin’s father died in France on a trip to see where their son Reg had died in the North Sea during WWI – see Biographical information)
  • 7/4/1920 letter to LLewellin from his brother Bob re their father’s will, and sailing plans
  • 4/5/1920 letter to LLewellin from his grandfather, Edwin Davey
  • Telegram 14 May 1920 re arrival of ship in Adelaide
  • 1920 letter to Llewellin’s wife, Doris, from cousin Grace re the death of Llewellin’s father
  • Two letter books of carbon copies of correspondence by Edwin Davey 1917-18 and 1920-22, principally concerning property sales

Series 5: Other

  • Ms list of payments from grandparents for “Baby’s bank account”
  • Suggested plan for extensions and alterations to Davey holiday home, 91 Esplanade, Pt Noarlunga
  • Ms notes on The word of God, and faith ca 1987
  • Copy of The Beliefs of Unbelief / W.H. Fitchett (Cassell, 1911?) with newspaper clippings, notes for talks and jottings by Llewellin Davey
  • Dance cards with pencils for dances attended by Llewellin’s daughter, Jean, between 1936 and 1940, including the Law Students’ Dance 30/6/1939 and Adelaide University Science Association Annual Dance July 1940; also undated ‘Guessing Game’ card of Christian names and newspaper clipping of Jean’s wedding December 1959
  • 16 Japanese government-issued Philippine fiat peso Ten Centavos banknotes issued during World War II in 1942 (First issue) as replacement for the local currency
  • Manuscript recipe book began by Doris A. Davey at St Peters in 1942 containing recipes for cakes, puddings, biscuits, jams, pickles, sauces etc. Some newspaper clippings inserted

Series 6: Reprints, etc. (stored in oversize box)

  • The radium treatment of cancer of the uterus / The Cancer Research Committee of the London Association of the Medical Women’s Federation (1926)
  • An address on radium in the treatment of malignant disease / G.E. Gask (1928)
  • The technique of radium treatment of carcinoma of the tongue and mouth / G.E. Gask (1928?)
  • Uterine colic and obstruction / A Remington Hobbs (1928)
  • Diverticula of the duodenum / G.E. Gask (1929)
  • The radium treatment of cancer of the uterus / The Cancer Research Committee of the Marie Curie Clinic … (1929)
  • The radium problem: I. Introductory / G.E. Gask (1929)
  • A contribution to the study of the treatment of epithelioma of the tongue by radium / G.E. Gask (1930)
  • The occipito-posterior position: its mechanism and treatment … / Roland Beard (1933)
  • 9 reprints and brochures on Percaine (new analgesic) 1929-31
  • Mnemonics of anatomy. 8th ed. (Glasgow, 1928)
  • Ars medicic: the journal of the American Medical Association of Vienna v. 8 nos. 5, 9-10 (1930)
  • The Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London, University of London. Sessions 1930-31.
  • British College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists, London. Eighth annual report 1936 (annotated)
  • Diseases of the throat, nose, and ear for practitioners and students / W.G. Porter and P. McBride. 2nd ed. Bristol: John Wright & Sons, 1916. Signed: L.L. Davey, Laura, 12/7/1917. With advertisement card for Sedonan, for the treatment of acute otitis media.
  • Notes on the male toad test for pregnancy  John W. Law (1949) with letter from Orde Poynton 10/3/1950  of the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science thanking Davey for the loan of the article

Series 7: Scrapbook 

Scrapbook containing clippings, including:

  • Photographs of the wedding of Constance Victoria, the daughter of Governor Sir T. Fowell Buxton, to the Rev. Bertram hawker, 1896
  • South Australian scenes and English royalty and dignitaries and local personalities
  • Scenes and officers of the Boer war
  • Issue of ‘The Bournemouthian’ March 1905, dance card and Kent Town Tennis Club booklet, plus other memorabilia of the trip to England
  • Programme for The Adelaide Bach Society Concert, Town Hall, November 6 189?, featuring Doris Peacock as soprano
  • Ms list of Scotch / Princes football team with team photographs (ca. 1900)
  • Photograph of Catt-Chanter wedding (at the home of Arnold Davey - Llewellin’s father - home, St Peters. Mrs Chanter was a sister of Arnold Davey(?))
  • Llewellin Davey’s report card, Prince Alfred College 1905
  • Letter from Mr Chapple (Headmaster PAC) to Llewellin 1905

Cheryl Hoskin
2 May 2017

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