by George J. Dance

Ernest Raymond Davey

Ernest Raymond Davey (1921-1944). Courtesy Veterans Affairs Canada.

Ernest Raymond Davey (November 25, 1921 - October 2, 1944) was a Canadian airman who is believed to have authored the poem, "Extinction (The Airman's Prayer)."[1]


Ernest Raymond-Davey2

Courtesy Veterans Affairs Canada.

E.R. "Bus" Davey was born and grew up in London, Ontario, the son of Selin and George James Davey.[2]

He attended Beal technical school, and after graduatimg worked for Lawson & Jones, a London printing company.[3]

In 1943, as a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), he was posted to the Royal Air Force Banff Strike Wing (Scotland). He died in October 1944 as a result of a mid-air collision.[1] He is buried in Banff Cemetery, Banffshire.[4]


A copy of "Extinction (The Airman's Prayer)" was afterwards found in Davey's personal effects.[1] His sister Iris has said that he gave her a letter for her mother, which contained the poem in his handwriting, on his last visit home.[3]

The poem was published in Wings Abroad, the RCAF's overseas newspaper. Its editor wrote at the time "that a thorough check had disclosed no previous authorship".[3]


A memorial stone, which includes the complete text of "Extinction," was placed in Førdefjord, Norway, in June 2008 to commemorate the losses of February 9, 1945.[1]

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Notes on Life and Works," Davey, Ernest Raymond (1921-1944), Representative Poetry Online, University of Toronto,, Web, Nov. 19, 2011.
  2. Ernest Raymond Davey, Canadian War Memorial, Veterans Affairs Canada. Web, June 22, 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Peter Piggott, "'Bus' Davey: The airman's prayer" in Flying Canucks II: Pioneers of Canadian aviation. Toronto: Dundurn, 2002, p.35. Google Books, Web, June 27, 2014.
  4. Banff Cemetery (Banffshire), Canada at War,, Web, Nov. 19, 2011.

External linksEdit

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