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Davison, Frederick

Frederick Davison (sometimes spelled Davidson) is found in the County of Flint Index with address Brook St, and notation that he died in 1915. It is reasonable to make the connection that this is the same Frederick Davidson found in the Soldiers Died database identified as born in Buckley and resident of Ellesmere Port. F. Davidson is named on the Ellesmere Port Memorial.

Frederick’s service record confirms he was born in Buckley (“Buckley, Cheshire”) and gives his address as 54 Oldfield Rd Ellesmere Port. A newspaper article that reported his death noted that he was employed at the cement works in Ellesmere Port. He attested in Liverpool, 26th January 1915, in the 8th Irish Btn. Kings Liverpool. He gave his age as 20 years 8 months which indicates he was born around May 1894. He arrived in France 3rd May 1915 and he was killed in action less than one month later on 30th May 1915. Regimental records show that the 8th Btn. Kings Liverpool became part of the Highland Division which was hurried to the defence of Ypres where the enemy had attacked on 22 April 1915, using poison gas for the first time. All available reserves were deployed to stop the Germans taking advantage of the initial surprise. The Division remained in action until moved to the area of Estaires on the River Lys, on 19 May. Frederick is buried at Pont du Hem Military Cemetery near Estaires.

Fred Davidson

 

Frederick’s service record also shows that he was married, and his wife and one child were awarded a pension of 15/- per week in 1916. His widow had remarried by 1921 and is identified as Mrs. Tattum, Howell’s Terrace, New Brighton, Bagillt (also referred to as “The Smelters House”, Bagillt). Unfortunately no other relatives are listed. From BMD records it is straightforward to determine that Frederick Davidson married Minnie Killimede of Hawarden in Chester District in 1914 and Minnie married George Tattum in Holywell District in 1917. Also from BMD, Frederick Killemede Davison was born in the Sept quarter 1914 in the Wirral District, probably in Ellesmere Port.

Frederick is named on the Memorial at Ellesmere Port and remembered on the Ellesmere Port War Memorial Project. Author Mike Royden recounts a painful anniversary: “In 1919 the Infantry Record Office were trying to trace the next of kin so that the memorial plaque and scroll could be forwarded, and were having little success, even contacting the office of the Chief Constable of Chester. By 1921, she was finally tracked down to Howell’s Terrace, New Brighton, Bagillt, where she and her husband George were running the General Stores (and would come to have a family of six sons and two daughters). Minnie Tattum admitted to ignoring four separate communications over the previous couple of years, as she had remarried and had clearly ‘moved on’. Very sad to read such words a century later, but at the time Minnie clearly had a new life with a new man, and obviously wanted to put the past and any painful reminders behind her. But of course, this would be difficult given the three anniversaries every 30 May”.

As noted above, Frederick’s age provided in his service record indicates he was born in 1894. No birth or census record has been found for a Frederick Davison or Davidson born in Buckley in 1894. The 1911 census does include at 5 Long Row, Pentre, Burntwood, Frederick Davison age 14, a brickworks labourer, born Burntwood, living with grandmother Mary Davison, and her sons Joseph Henry, Peter 26, and George. This Frederick Davison was born 24th May 1896 (baptism 28th July 1896 at St. Matthews), mother Mary, a single woman of Burntwood. Mary is present in the 1891 census age 13 at Chapel Road, Hawarden, living with father Henry and mother Mary A. She is not found in 1901 or 1911 suggesting she may have died. It is noteworthy that Frederick’s marriage certificate in 1914 does not identify a father, consistent with his mother being a single woman.

Is the Frederick born in Buckley in 1896 the same man who attested in Liverpool, 26th January 1915? If so, while he gave his age as 20 years and 8 months it was really 18 years and 8 months. At that time recruits had to be 18 but they could not be sent overseas until 19. So did Frederick lie about his age so that he could be sent overseas? Further evidence that we have the right Frederick is found in a Roll of Honour for the Drury Lane Primitive Methodist Church which lists Fred Davison, King’s Irish Regiment, killed in action 30th May 1915.

From Brenda Morrlle Jones, mother Mary married Fredrick Morrlle. The younger Frederick stayed with his grandmother at Burntwood when his mother and Frederick moved to Brook St. In the 1911 census. Frederick, Mary, Bertha, Sarah, Hilda, Ethel, Catherine, and Henry were living at Prince of Wales Row. Other children would follow, Walter, John, Frederick, Horace, Florrie and Sidney. Frederick was born 13 November 1915, about 6 months after the other Frederick was killed. The younger Frederick was the father of Brenda Morrlle Jones.

This is a different soldier than the Frederick Davison of Daisy Hill who died 18th June 1917.


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