Davey, Dr Thomas Frank, OBE, CBE
1908-1983; e.m. 1932

Medical missionary, born in London on 26 March 1908. He studied medicine and trained for the ministry simultaneously in Manchester. He was appointed in 1936 to the Uzuakoli Leprosy Hospital, Nigeria, where he served as both doctor and minister, and also exercised his skills as a gardener. He pioneered a new treatment of leprosy with the drug Dapsone. In 1951 he became Leprosy Adviser to the Nigerian Government and was awarded the OBE and later the CBE in recognition of his work. From 1959 to 1968 he served with distinction as Medical Secretary of the MMS; then went out to take charge of the Leprosy Settlement at Dichpalli, India from 1968 to 1973. In retirement from 1973 he continued to contribute to leprosy work, becoming editor of the Leprosy Review and co-editor of the 2nd edition of Leprosy in Theory and Practice (1964). Together with his wife Kathleen he wrote The Compassionate Years - a Medical Te Deum (1964). He suggested and co-authored a book Heralds of Health: the saga of Christian medical initiatives published by the Christian Medical Fellowship in 1985, to which he contributed the Introduction and other chapters. In retirement he made good use of his musical and artistic gifts at Emsworth, where he died on 24 March 1983.

Kathleen (Kay) Davey (née Barnes) (1904-1996) was born on 16 May 1904 and grew up in United Methodism. Having qualified as a teacher, in 1932 she went as a WM missionary to the Kaaga teacher training school in Kenya, where she pioneered education for girls. In 1936 she was sent as a relief teacher to the Gambia; then to Ovim girls' boarding school in Eastern Nigeria, in place of the headmistress who had died of yellow fever. She met Frank when he returned from furlough to nearby Uzuakoli; they were married there on 1 August 1939 and served together there until 1959. She died at Emsworth on 5 December 1996.

  • Methodist Recorder, 7 April 1983; 26 December 1996
  • G.R. Senior, Thomas Frank Davey(Peterborough, 1996)