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Davies, Charles Ellis (1914–1954)

Mr. Charles Ellis Davies, chairman of directors and managing-editor of Davies Brothers Ltd., proprietors of The Mercury, died at Hobart yesterday evening at the age of 39.

Mr. Davies had been in ill health for some time. He received protracted treatment in Melbourne late in 1952, and in March last year underwent an operation at the Memorial Hospital, Mew York.

Mr. Davies later visited England for the Coronation before returning to Australia.

A man of great courage, he showed this particularly during his long illness, when he carried on his duties as chairman of directors for as long as possible.

He was born into a newspaper family, and from his youth he sought training and experience in Britain, Europe and America. Mr. Davies was born on February 1, 1914, and was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and Canford School, England.

He was the sixth member of the family to be in charge of the affairs of The Mercury in unbroken sequence from the founder to the third generation.

He was a grandson of the founder, who had two sons, Sir George Davies and Mr. Charles Ellis Davies. Mr. Davies was a son of Mr. Charles Ellis Davies, who directed the policy and management of the business from 1872 till his death in 1921.

Mr. Davies' father was a member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council. His mother, Mrs. C. E. Davies, sen., lives at Fitzroy Place, Hobart, and his sister is Mrs. G. A. Brown, Ellenthorpe, Recs.

On the retirement of Mr. C. B. Davies in 1946, Mr. Davies became chairman of directors of Davies Bros. Ltd., having been managing editor of The Mercury since January 1, 1944.

Before his enlistment in the A.I.F. in the Second World War. Mr. Davies was director of advertising of The Mercury. He was a captain in the A.I.F., and for some time was with the Army Directorate of Public Relations.

He had great confidence in Tasmania's future and missed no opportunity to help in its development.

Mr. Davies was an associate director of Australian Newsprint Mills Ltd. at Boyer, and a member of the Australian committee of the Commonwealth Press Union. He was also a director of the Tasmanian Press Association Pty. Ltd.

He was a keen student of international affairs, and on his many tours abroad studied at first hand problems of other countries and their relations with their neighbors and the rest of the world.

On several occasions he spoke to United Nations Association and Royal Empire Society groups. He was an ardent supporter of the campaign for the renovation and restoration of the historical Theatre Royal at Hobart and was chairman of the committee which conducted an appeal for funds for the work.

His services were often sought for fund raising for charities and other philanthropic purposes, because of his organising ability.

This ability was also evident in the planning of the State's sesquicentenary celebrations. He was deputy director of the Planning and Co-ordinating Committee of the celebrations.

Mr. Davies was a keen sportsman in many fields, but in recent years had concentrated on yachting and golf.

He owned a number of fine yachts and met with considerable success. He was also interested in the administration of yachting at Hobart, and was a senior flag officer of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

In his younger days he was a keen rugby player, and was one of the founders of the sport in this State.

Mr. Davies is survived by his wife, formerly Miss Joan Govett, Melbourne, and a young son and daughter.

A service will be held at St. David's Cathedral at 10.45 a.m. to-morrow, followed by a service at Cornelian Bay cemetery at 11.20 a.m.

The governing director of The Examiner and chairman of the Tasmanian Press Association (Sir Gordon Rolph) last night expressed deep regret at the death of Mr. Davies.

Voicing his sympathy with Mr. Davies' family and colleagues, Sir Gordon said his associates in the T.P.A. would miss the energy and ability which Mr. Davies brought to bear in the interests of newspapers and their readers. By his death Tasmanian journalism had suffered a severe loss.

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Citation details

'Davies, Charles Ellis (1914–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/davies-charles-ellis-14708/text25854, accessed 21 November 2017.

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