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George Llewelyn Davies
George Llewelyn Davies (July 20, 1893 - March 15, 1915) was the eldest son of Arthur and Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Along with his brothers, George was the inspiration for playwright J. M. Barrie's characters of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. The character of Mr. George Darling was named after him. He died in combat in World War I.
George and his brother Jack met Barrie in 1897, during their regular outings to Kensington Gardens, with their nurse Mary Hodgson. As the oldest (he was four years old when he met Barrie) he featured most prominently in the early storytelling and play adventures from which the writer drew ideas for Barrie's works around that time about young boys. The character of David in Barrie's 1902 book The Little White Bird resembles him as a small boy, and Arthur Rackham used him as the model for that character in the illustrated reprint of the Peter Pan chapters of the book as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens. He and Jack (and to a lesser extent Peter) were featured in a photo storybook The Boy Castaways which Barrie made during a shared holiday at Barrie's Black Lake Cottage in 1901.
When Barrie began writing the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up in 1903, George was 10 years old. Barrie reported taking some of the characterization of Peter and individual Lost Boys from things Davies and his younger brothers had said or done. For example, in response to Barrie's oral tales about babies who died and went to live in Neverland, George reportedly exclaimed, "To die will be an awfully big adventure"; this became one of Peter Pan's most memorable lines.
Barrie financially supported the Davies boys following the death of their father (1907), and became their primary guardian following the death of their mother (1910). George remained very close with "Uncle Jim" as he grew up and went away to school, with the two exchanging letters regularly. His youngest brother Nico later described George and their brother Michael as "The Ones": the boys who meant the most to Barrie.
George attended Eton College, where he excelled at sports (especially cricket) and was elected to the elite social club Pop while still an underclassman. He later attended Trinity College, Cambridge where he joined the Amateur Dramatic Club, following in the footsteps of both his uncle, actor Gerald du Maurier and his dramatist guardian.
Following the UK's entry into World War I, George and his brother Peter volunteered for service. He received a commission as a second lieutenant in the King's Royal Rifle Corps, and served in the trenches in Flanders. He died of a gunshot to the head on March 15, 1915, at the age of 21. As yet unmarried, the young George Llewelyn Davies left no children.
In the 1978 BBC mini-series The Lost Boys, he was portrayed at various ages by Barnaby Holm (son of actor Ian Holm, who portrayed Barrie), Paul Holmes, Philip Kassler, Mark Benson, and Christopher Blake.
- Wikipedia: George Llewelyn Davies