April 30 - May 06, 2004


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well known opera singer in the north of England

Coastweek - - Ruth Ann Davis died peacefully on Friday, April 23, 2004, the day after her 96th birthday.

As Shakespear wrote: “Age did not wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety”- and what a full life she led.  

As a pioneer aviatrix in India in the 'twenties she flew her father in her de Haviland Leopard Moth around Bengal on his duty trips as Commissioner of Police.

Later during the 'Battle of Britain', serving in the Air Transport Auxilliary, she delivered replacement Spitfires and Hurricanes from the factories to the R.A.F. squadrons at Biggin Hill and North Weald.

After the war and marriage she was a well known opera singer in the north of England.


Ruth Ann Davis became a legend in the naval  circles - rather like the famous 'Lady in White'  in Durban.

Her rich soprano voice was her asset to the very end and always a joy to hear.

Ruth joined her brother Colonel Dick Swain in Kenya in the 'forties, Dick being a successful farmer in Kitale.

She moved to the coast and resided with the Selbys in Kikambala.

In 1992 Ruth bought Juanita Carberry’s house in Likoni with its inimitable views over the approaches to Kilindini.

Here she continued Juanita’s custom of welcoming all Royal Naval warships entering Mombasa saluting with the White Ensign and Jack flying from the flagpole in her front garden overlooking the Likoni leading marks.

She became a legend in the naval circles rather like the famous 'Lady in White' in Durban.

Her next of kin is her nephew Tony Swain, who was awarded the Military Cross in 1955 while serving with the Kenya Regiment.

Our sympathy goes out to Tony and his wife Angela, great 'carers' of Ruth in her latter years.





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