Michael Llewelyn Davies (1900-1921)

Death: 19th May 1921
Cause of death: Drowning
Location: St Johns at Hampstead (Churchyard Extension), London, England
Photo taken by: DeadGoodBooks

Michael Llewelyn Davies was the forth of the five sons of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. He is widely reported to be the individual who most influenced J. M. Barrie in the creation of Peter Pan. He drowned in suspicious circumstances with a close friend just short of his 21st birthday.
J. M. Barrie became guardian of the Llewelyn Davies boys following the death of their father in 1907 and their mother in 1910. 
Michael attended Christ Church, Oxford, where he became very close to Rupert Buxton. Shortly before Davies' 21st birthday, he and Buxton drowned together in Sandford Pool on the River Thames. The closeness of Davies and Buxton, combined with the uncertain circumstances of their death, led to speculation that the pair had died in a suicide pact.
The Sandford Pool was well known as a drowning hazard and the pair had gone swimming there before. A witness at the coroner's inquest reported that one man was swimming to join the other, who was sitting on a stone on the weir, but he experienced "difficulties" and the other dived in to reach him. However, the witness also reported that when he saw their heads together in the water they did not appear to be struggling. Their bodies were recovered "clasped" together the next day. The coroner's conclusion was that Davies had drowned accidentally, and that Buxton had drowned trying to save him. Davies' brothers Peter and Nico each later acknowledged suicide as a likely explanation, as did J. M. Barrie.


Anonymous said…
Perhaps the mantle of Peter Pan proved too much to live up to. They sacrificed a real boy, to give a dream wings.