Davidson, Alexander (No. 7007149)

Davidson, Alexander (Alex)

Sergeant

No. 7007149, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

Died of wounds on Sunday 21 June 1942 (aged 40)

Buried:

Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya (Grave 2. F. 5)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s)

Family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery Newtownards

BIOGRAPHY

Alexander Davidson was born around 1902 and he was a son of Hugh James and Julia Isabel Davidson who lived at 3 William Street, Newtownards.  Hugh James Davidson served in the First World War and he and Julia had at least five children:

Alexander

Francis (Sandy, moved to Canada)

Robert (served with the Royal Irish Rifles and then as a bomb disposal sergeant with the Royal Air Force)

Thomas (served for 28 years with the Royal Air Force)

William (served with the Royal Irish Rifles and died at the age of 22)

Alexander Davidson joined the Royal Irish Rifles when he was 16 years old and served for ten years.  He spent four years in India.  Then he worked as a bricklayer before joining the Royal Artillery in 1937/38.

Alexander Davidson (aged 22) and Agnes Kennedy Arnold (aged 21) were married on 18 March 1927 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office and they lived at 13 Wallace’s Street No. 2, Newtownards.  Alexander and Agnes Davidson (nee Arnold) had six children:

James Arnold (Jim, served with the RAF)

Julia Elizabeth

Rita Kennedy

Alexander

Margaret White

Joseph Arnold (Joe, post-war Joe Davidson served with the Royal Air Force Regiment and then the Parachute Regiment)

During the Second World War Sergeant Alexander Davidson (No. 7007149) served with the Royal Artillery, as did other family members – his wife’s brother, Joseph Arnold from Greenwell Street, Newtownards; Davy Savage (his wife’s sister May’s husband) and his wife’s cousin Julius (Jules) Dorrian of Movilla Street, Newtownards.

Gunner William James (Billy) Martin who died on 25 April 1942 was one of the Gunners who served under Sergeant Alexander Davidson (No. 7007149).

Sergeant Alexander Davidson (No. 7007149) died of wounds on 21 June 1942, along with three of his comrades, after being hit by shellfire at Tobruk the previous day.  Their gun position was sited some 2¼ miles south of Tobruk docks, on a broad plateau above an escarpment and about a thousand yards east of the road running almost due south out of Tobruk. Their Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) Building was on the same plateau but slightly further north.  The Axis Forces (21 Panzer Division) swept through their gun position some time between 2.30 and 5.00 pm on Saturday 20 June and reached the harbour area shortly afterwards.  The other men who died were Lieutenant (Acting Captain) John Malcomson Gibson from Newtownards, Gunner David McClinton from Newtownards and Gunner George Alfred Rayner from Glastonbury in Somerset.

Alexander Davidson’s wife Agnes placed a notice in the 9 January 1943 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:

May the heavenly winds blow softly

O’er that sweet and hallowed spot,

Though the sea divides us from your grave,

You will never be forgot

Other family notices in 1943 contained the verses:

The news was sad, the blow was hard,

God’s will, it shall be done;

With a manly heart he did his part,

And a Crown of Victory won.

 

A silent thought, a hidden tear,

Keeps his memory ever dear,

Duty called and he was there

To do his bit and take his share;

His heart was good, his spirit brave,

His resting place a soldier’s grave.

 

Fond is the link that is broken,

Dear is the one that is gone,

But in memory we shall keep him

As year after year passes on.

 

Gone from us but not forgotten,

Never shall thy memory fade,

Sweetest thoughts shall ever linger

Round the spot where he is laid.

A family notice in 1944 contained the verse:

A soldier’s grave, in a far-off land,

Holds one we loved so dear,

A smiling face that won’t come home

When they sound the last ‘All Clear.’

A family notice in 1945 contained the verse:

Gone from us, but not forgotten,

Never shall thy memory fade,

Sweetest thoughts shall ever linger

Round the spot where thou art laid.

Sergeant Alexander Davidson (No. 7007149) was 40 when he died, and he was buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

HE ANSWERED HIS COUNTRY’S CALL

Sergeant Alexander Davidson (No. 7007149) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial; in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s) and on the family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery Newtownards.

Alexander Davidson’s wife Agnes died on 10 March 1960 and their son James died on 1 December 1982.  Alexander’s mother Julia died of cancer on 26 April 1946 and was buried in Movilla Cemetery.