Grave of Gracie Davies

menai_bridge_davies_family_graveGracie Davies (d.1919)

Gracie Davies was born in May 1855 to distinguished surgeon Samuel Osborne Habershon and his wife Grace, writes Bridget Geoghegan. She was brought up in London. Her brother was Dr Herbert Habershon, personal physician to Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone. Her sister Ada Habershon was a noted hymn composer.

Gracie met her husband, John Davies, when he was at Cambridge. He was a friend of with her brother (who married John’s sister Catherine). John was part of the Davies family which had amassed a fortune from trading and ship-owning at Menai Bridge.

Gracie and John and their children lived at Ceris, a large red-brick house on the mainland (near the Suspension Bridge). She supported initiatives for people in the local community including the Welsh Industries Association, which had shops where women could sell their work. She was the organist at Menai Bridge’s Presbyterian church and an adjudicator of needlework competitions at eisteddfodau.

She supported the Red Cross movement when it began in Menai Bridge. Having passed the Red Cross exams, she volunteered as a probationer at Bangor Infirmary.

During the First World War she was Mentioned in Dispatches for her work in the Red Cross hospital at her brother-in-law’s house, Bodlondeb. Her energetic work for locally housed Belgian war refugees enabled them to have an occupation and income while living in Menai Bridge.

Her wartime exertions probably took a toll on her health, which began to fail in mid-1917. She died in May 1919 and is buried in the Davies family plot. Other members of the family are featured separately in our graveyard tour.

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