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Born in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, Davis served in the Royal Navy on motor torpedo boats during the Second World War, when he joined the Communist Party. A qualified electrician, he worked in and around Cheltenham, before moving to south-east London in the late 1970s. He was a caretaker for a housing association until his retirement.
Davis was an active member of the Communist Party for almost 50 years, standing as a candidate, or acting as an agent, in council elections in Gloucestershire. After 1991, and the dissolution of the CPGB, he was briefly in Democratic Left, then the Labour Party, before finally joining the SWP. He was a candidate for the `Left List' in Bexley and Bromley constituency for the 2008 Greater London Authority elections. He was also active in many progressive organisations, such as ex-services CND, Bromley Peace Council, Stop the War Campaign and the Bromley branch of the British Pensioners' Trade Union Action Association, which he chaired for many years. In retirement, Davis painted and a talent for writing poetry brought the post of poet-in-residence for Bromley Friends of the Earth. Dave Davis died aged 85 in 2009.