Davey OBE, William Hamilton

Davey, William Hamilton (Hamilton)

Order of the British Empire


‘B’ Company, 27th (Tyneside Irish) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers

Died of disease on Sunday 29 August 1920 (aged 40)


Carrickfergus (Victoria) Cemetery, Co. Antrim (Grave C. 35)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial

Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance


William Hamilton Davey MA LLB was born on 15 August 1880 in Carrickfergus and he was a son of Robert and Jane Davey (nee Hamilton) who were married on 20 August 1878 in Second Larne Presbyterian Church.  Robert Davey (aged 26) from Carrickfergus was a son of Samuel Davey, a fisherman.  Jane Hamilton (aged 26) from Carrickfergus was a daughter of William Hamilton, a grocer.

The Davey family lived in Green Street, Carrickfergus where Robert worked as a grocer and ironmonger.

William Hamilton Davey studied at the Queen’s University Belfast where he graduated BA in 1902 and MA in 1903.

Before the war William Hamilton Davey worked as a Barrister at Law and was Editor of the Ulster Guardian.  William Hamilton Davey and Ruby Irene Mollan were married on 7 June 1911 in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church Belfast.  Ruby Irene Mollan from Belfast was a daughter of William Stuart Mollan, a linen merchant.

William Hamilton Davey and Ruby Irene Davey (nee Mollan) had three children:

John Desmond (born 13 November 1912 at 46 Bawnmore Road, Belfast)

Dermod William (born 21 September 1916 at 46 Bawnmore Road, Belfast)

Pat (born around 1919/1920)

Major Hamilton Davey served with the Northumberland Fusiliers and during the war he contracted blood poisoning.

Described as a religious and political man, Major Davey was a Protestant Irish Nationalist who supported Home Rule for Ireland.  Just days after the Armistice in 1918 he returned home to stand as a pro-Home Rule candidate for the Irish Parliamentary Party in the Duncairn constituency in Belfast.  The election was held on 14 December 1918 and Major Davey was defeated by the Unionist candidate, Sir Edward Carson.  During the course of the campaign Sir Edward Carson mistakenly referred to Major Davey as a Sinn Feiner which led to damages being awarded to Major Davey in his subsequent legal action for slander.

Major Davey’s health deteriorated until his death on 29 August 1920.  Aged 40 when he died, he was buried in Victoria Cemetery Carrickfergus.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:


In the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Debt of Honour Website his wife’s address is recorded as Pier House, Cultra.

Major Hamilton Davey is commemorated on the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial and in the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance (Page 17).

His mother Jane died on 20 October 1929 (aged 79), his father Robert died on 16 February 1935 (aged 83) and his wife Ruby died on 16 August 1960 (aged 69).  All three were buried in Victoria Cemetery Carrickfergus.