Thursday, 23 March 2017

Charles William Davidson 1869 - 1917

Charles W Davidson Barnsley Chronicle 3rd November 1917
with thanks to Barnsley Archives
Born : 1869

Military Service:
Regiment and Battalion: 11th (Prince Albert's Own Hussars) 
Service number and rank: 513093 Corporal.
Awards: The British War Medal, The Victory Medal

Date of death: 11th October 1917 aged 48
Buried at: Malo-Les-Bains Communal Cemetery in France
Grave Reference:  I.A.26

Information from Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
Son of Richard and Rebecca Davidson, the husband of Charlotte Davidson of 38 Kingsbury Place Cwmaman, Aberdare, Glamorgan. He was born in Barnsley.

St Marys Church Barnsley Combined War Memorial
Barnsley, St Paul's Church, Old Town, WW1 memorial 

Links & Notes:
Lives of the First World War
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Every Man Remembered

From the Barnsley Chronicle 3rd November 1917 with thanks to Barnsley Archives


Corporal C.W. Davidson who was well-known in Barnsley, has given his life in the struggle for freedom.  Before the war, Cpl. Davidson was the caretaker of Barclay's Bank, Church Street, and prior to that he was the caretaker at the Beckett Hospital.  He was an old army man, having seen seen service in the South African campaign, and when the present war broke out he made several attempts to rejoin, being finally accepted in a Cavalry Regiment.  He leaves a wife and three children who reside at 25 Church Street and with whom much sympathy has been expressed.  Evidence of the esteem in which deceased was held in the service contained is a large number of letters which Mrs. Davidson has received, said below we were given extracts from some of them.

The Archdeacon of Lewes, the Rev. H.K Southwell, who is now the Assistant Chaplain General at the headquarters of the Fourth Army B.E.E. wrote under date date October 19th :-  "Dear Mrs. Davidson,- I am most deeply sorry that I have to send you this letter with news that you are unprepared for and I wish I could have done something to break it to you more gently, but if I hesitate about writing, the news must come to you from others.  I am grieved to say that your husband, Corporal Charles William Davidson was killed her last night by a bomb.  It may be a help to you to know he could not have suffered, as death must have been instantaneous.  He was with his horses when a bomb fell close by, wounding him in five places and he died immediately.  He has been a most faithful man and was respected by all here who knew him, and he died when he was about to do his duty.  I am laying him to rest tomorrow morning at 10.30 in the French Cemetery and we shall place a cross over his grave and in due time I hope to be able to send you a photograph of it.  We here are all sorry for you and the children and I pray that God may comfort and strengthen you in your great loss and sorrow.  No words can help much at such times as this, the sorrow seems too great for comfort, but God knows this and I am sure will give you strength and help you in your care of the children he has left to you".  The rev. gentleman two days later wrote informing Mrs. Davidson that the interment had been carried out as promised.  "The Army Commandant and his A.D.C's were present and the Camp Commandant and many of his own Regiment and other cavalrymen were the bearers and escort.  The grave is a single one and the cross will be up this week.  The Rev. T.H. Masters. C.F., assisted me at the service and all was as reverent as you would wish.  I will put flowers on his grave and it will be well cared for"  H. Rawlinson wrote from headquarters ex-pressing his sorrow and added " Corporal Davidson has been with me for so long and has always done his duty so exceedingly well that I feel his loss very deeply.  No one else at my headquarters was even wounded on that night and your husband was the only casualty.  The bomb fell some 30 or 40 yards away from him, but a fragment struck him in the chest and he died in a few moments.
Pte. W.H. Balch also sent a letter conveying the sympathy of himself and two comrades - Privates Brennan and Clarke.  "Your husband was liked and respected by all ranks,from the highest to the lowest and I can assure you that he is greatly missed.  I and a few more men were severely shaken but otherwise escaped injury and his old horse is going on quite well, though he was slightly wounded.  His children can always remember that their father died doing his duty for England and "home".


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