12th (Service) Battalion, King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
Died of wounds on Sunday 8 October 1916 (aged 20)
Grove Town Cemetery, France (Grave I. O. 4)
King’s Royal Liverpool Regiment War Memorial, St Peter’s Church, Formby, Merseyside
Cooke Centenary Presbyterian Church Belfast
North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football)
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Family grave headstone in Belfast City Cemetery
Robert Davison was born on 29 September 1896 in Ormeau Road, Belfast and he was the only son of Dr John Robert Davison and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Davison (nee Dickson) who were married on 15 April 1889 in Mountpottinger Presbyterian Church. John Robert Davison from Ballynafeigh was a son of Robert Davison, a mill owner. Elizabeth Dickson from Newtownards was a daughter of George Dickson, a nurseryman.
The Davison family lived at Romanov, 281 Ormeau Road, Belfast.
John Robert Davison, who was born in England, was a physician and surgeon and he and Lizzie had four children including:
Margaret Beryl Dickson Hill (Beryl, born 11 June 1891 at 6 Chesneyville, Ormeau Road, Belfast)
Caroline Maria (born 6 December 1892 at 2 Chesneyville, Ormeau Road, Belfast)
Robert (born 29 September 1896 in Ormeau Road, Belfast)
Robert Davison was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and on 11 September 1914 he was admitted to the Faculty of Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast. He joined the Young Citizen Volunteer Battalion of the Ulster Division and within a week he received a commission in the King’s Liverpool Regiment. He went to France in July 1915.
On 8 October 1916 Lieutenant Robert Davison (aged 20) died of wounds sustained at Gueudecourt during the Battle of the Somme. His death was reported in the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Newtownards Family Bereaved. His mother Lizzie Davison was the eldest daughter of George Dickson JP, Royal Nurseries, Newtownards.
Lieutenant Robert Davison was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry during operations. ‘He showed great determination when consolidating the position of his company close to the enemy under heavy machine-gun and shell fire. He displayed great coolness and set a fine example’.
Lieutenant Robert Davison was originally buried at Ginchy Advanced Dressing Station Cemetery (the area was known to the troops as Grove Town). In 1916 a wooden cross with a metal plaque which commemorated eight officers of the 12th Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment – including Robert Davison – was erected in that cemetery. The cross and metal plaque were brought back to England by relatives after the war and now stand in the graveyard at St Peter’s Church, Formby, Merseyside.
Lieutenant Robert Davison was re-buried in Grove Town Cemetery, France and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
SO HE PASSED OVER AND THE TRUMPETS SOUNDED FOR HIM
ON THE OTHER SIDE
Lieutenant Robert Davison is commemorated on the King’s Royal Liverpool Regiment War Memorial, St Peter’s Church, Formby, Merseyside; in Cooke Centenary Presbyterian Church Belfast; on the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football); on the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial; in the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance (Page 17); in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 146) and on the family grave headstone in Belfast City Cemetery.
[The North of Ireland Football Club (members played Rugby Football as opposed to Soccer) was founded by members of the North of Ireland Cricket Club and the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque commemorates members of both Clubs. Members of the Football Club were also members of the Cricket Club but not all members of the Cricket Club were members of the Football Club.]