Davidson, John McClean (John)
No. D/24391, 6th (Home Defence) Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles
Died as the result of an accident on Wednesday 11 September 1940 (aged 47)
Saintfield Church of Ireland Churchyard (Section J.5 Grave 1008)
In some records John McClean Davidson’s second forename is spelt McLean and in others McLane.
John McClean Davidson was born on 15 December 1892 in Ballygowan, and he was a son of George and Mary Jane Davidson (nee Patterson) who were married on 19 September 1889 in Comber Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. George Davidson (aged 27), a farmer from Ravara, Killinchy, was a son of John Davidson, a farmer. Mary Jane Patterson (aged 25) from Clontaghnaglare, Kilmore was a daughter of Andrew Patterson, a farmer.
George Davidson worked as a labourer and flax dealer and he and Mary Jane had at least nine children:
Andrew (born 16 November 1890 in Ballymagaughey, Ballygowan)
John McClean (born 15 December 1892 in Ballygowan)
Mary Jane (born 4 July 1894 in Ravara)
William James (born 6 February 1896 in Tullygirvan, Comber)
Lizzie (born around 1897/1898)
Samuel (born 19 March 1899 at Crossnacreevy, Comber; died of debility 22 March 1899 at Crossnacreevy)
Charles McClean (born 21 July 1902 in Ballycloughan, Kilmood)
Samuel David (born 7 March 1904 at Ballycloughan, Kilmood)
George Davidson died of acute pneumonia at Ballycloughan on 6 March 1905 (aged 46).
In her 1911 census return the widowed Mary Jane Davidson is described as Head of Family and two other children who were born in County Down are described as her son and daughter:
George Davidson (aged 29) and Catherine Isabella Davidson (aged 25)
George Davidson (born George Patterson) was born on 2 April 1883; Catherine Isabella was born around 1886/1887.
In civilian life John McClean Davidson worked as a plasterer and he served during the First World War. He is remembered for his Great War service on the Roll of Honour Memorial Plaque in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church:
BY THE MEMBERS OF THIS CONGREGATION
TO THE GLORY OF GOD
AND TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF THOSE
OF THEIR NUMBER WHO SERVED
IN THE GREAT WAR 1914 – 1919
AND SURVIVED AT ITS CLOSE
John McClean Davidson and Mary Drake were married on 4 June 1919 in Saintfield Parish Church of Ireland Church. John Davidson (aged 27), a plasterer from 106 Derwent Street, Belfast was a son of George Davidson, a dealer. Mary Drake (aged 21), a stitcher from Saintfield was a daughter of Hugh Drake, a labourer. They had at least six children including:
John George (born 19 September 1920 in Ravara)
During the Second World War John McClean Davidson served with the 6th (Home Defence) Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles and he died on 11 September 1940 in Massereene Hospital, Co Antrim as the result of a road accident. An inquest was held, and the findings were reported in the Press under the heading Thrown from Military Van:
‘A verdict of death from shock following multiple fractures of the body was returned at an inquest in Antrim on 11 September 1940 on Rifleman John Davidson (aged 47) who died in the Massereene Hospital earlier in the day from injuries received in a motor accident.
Dr Hall Stewart, Deputy Coroner, conducted the inquiry, and Head Constable Staunton represented the Constabulary.
Evidence was given that the deceased was a passenger in a military van which was travelling from Randalstown towards Antrim. At a bend in the road the van collided with a stationary military vehicle. Davidson was thrown out and seriously injured.
Rifleman Davidson’s home is at Downpatrick Street, Saintfield, Co Down. And he leaves a wife and six children.’
Rifleman John McClean Davidson (No. D/24391) was buried in Saintfield Parish Church of Ireland Churchyard and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
THE LORD WILL BLESS
HIS PEOPLE WITH PEACE