PHILIP ANZAC DAVIDSON, DCM – Missing WW2 Pacific gallantry medal group offered to kin.


Another post by a relative on the MRNZ ‘Missing In Action’ – Seeking Lost Medals web page has reaped positive results for a family searching for their grandfather’s WW2 gallantry medal group named to:

  • 73365 CPL. Philip Anzac DAVIDSON, DCM
  • Awards:   Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1939/45 Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, 1939/45 War Medal, New Zealand War Service Medal, 1939/45

Just one week after I had received the text message regarding the Beechey medals, I received a phone call from Wellington offering the WW2 medal group of Corporal P.A. Davidson, DCM to MRNZ.  This was indeed exciting since the group contained a rare gallantry medal.  Not rare in the sense of it being one of only a few in existence, but rare from the point of view that Cpl. Davidson’s DCM was one of only three Distinguished Conduct Medals awarded to New Zealanders for combat operations in the Pacific fighting the Japanese.

The owner told me he had purchased the Davidson medals from the internet some years ago.  Being a medal collector he had decided to downsize his collection and had coincidentally seen the request for the Davidson medals on MRNZ’s ‘Missing In Action’ – Seeking Lost Medals web page.   The owner was keen for this rather significant medal group to be offered back to Cpl. Davidson’s direct descendant family.

CPL P.A. Davidson, DCMPhilip Anzac Davidson was a Te Aroha sheep farmer at the time of his enlistment in January 1942; his parents were residents of Waihi.

Pte. Davidson was mobilized with the 2nd NZ Division, 2 NZEF for operations in the Pacific in January 1942.  Promoted to Corporal by late 1943, Cpl. Davidson became a section commander in the 14 Brigade Defence Platoon.  In Feb 1942 the Platoon had been attached to the rear HQ of 30 Battalion for the landing operations on the Green (Nissan) Island group.  14 Brigade’s task was to reconnoiter and clear a number of islands in the Nissan group of any occupying Japanese forces.


The war diary of 30th Battalion relates the action:

“On 17 February 1944 the Defence Platoon, which was placed under command of the 30th Battalion to assist with the clearing of Sirot Island, encountered an enemy force of some twenty Japanese on that island, and a sharp engagement ensued. Sixteen Japanese were killed and the remainder fled. The defence platoon casualties were five killed and three wounded. For bravery in action at Sirot, Corporal P. A. Davidson received an immediate award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Lieutenant E. G. Taylor was subsequently mentioned in dispatches.”

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Distinguished Conduct             Medal

The Citation for Corporal Davidson’s gallantry medal reads:

“At Sirot on 17 February 1944 Corporal Davidson was a member of the 14th Bde Def Platoon which was part of a force carrying out a reconnaissance of the island. While patrolling towards the north-western coast the platoon made contact with a party of 16 of the enemy, who suddenly opened fire with grenades and a machine gun at a range of 30 yards. With complete disregard for his own safety Corporal Davidson rushed the position, killed seven of the enemy and put the gun out of action. The remainder of the force were thus enabled to go forward and destroy the remaining enemy without further loss to themselves. Corporal Davidson himself continued to assist with great gallantry in the mopping up. The conduct of Corporal Davidson throughout the operation was an inspiration to his comrades and is deserving of the highest praise.”Source: NZETC


Little more is known of Phil Davidson’s life after the war.  He was a logging contractor but kept very mush to himself, happiest in the bush and just getting on with it.  Philip Anzac Davidson, DCM,  died at Te Puke on 10 November 1971, aged 54. 

I was again delighted to be able to pass on the good news and contact details, this time to Cpl. Davidson’s grandson.

The reunited medal tally is now 58.                  

DCM both sides

Cpl. Davidson's campaign medals

Cpl. Davidson’s WW2 campaign & service medal entitlement