Ronald first appears on a census in 1881. He was living with his family in 7 Hill Street in Wrexham Denbighshire. The head of the famly was father Nathanial who was 38, a Scot and a draper. His wife was Margaret aged 40 and a native of Wrexham. Their sons were Matthew H. aged 8 and Ronald A aged 2. Staying or living with them was Mary E Jones an unmarried sister in law aged 28 from Wrexham. There were six other residents in the house. Four males were involved in the drapery business and two females were domestic servants.
Ten years later the census of 1891 finds the family at 28 Bridge Street Wrexham. Nathanial was then 48 and still running his drapery business. Margaret was 50 and Ronald was 12 and a scholar. The elder son Matthew H (Henry) was not there, he would have been 18. There was a visitor Edith Hughes and three male drapery assistants and one female domestic servant.
In the 1901 census the family were in 12 Pentrefelin Wrexham. 58 year old Nathanial described himself as a ‘master draper’, he also was more specific about his birthplace which was Thornhill, Dumfries. Margaret was 61. Their two sons Henry 27 and Ronald 22 were both drapers (Ronald was mistakenly named as Roland by the enumerator). There were two female domestic servants.
Margaret Davidson wife of Nathanial (and Ronald’s mother) died in 1902 leaving effects of £584 . 16s . 5d
Nathanial Davidson (Ronald’s father) died in 1905 leaving his effects of £1.997.19s.11d to his sons Matthew Henry and Ronald Alexander Davidson.
(Probate calendar Index of Wills and Administration 1858 -1966) accessible on ( www.ancestry.co.uk)
In the census of 1911, Ronald Alexander Davidson was living at 366 High Street, Connah’s Quay. (The census form records him as Ronald Alexander Daveson). This is the home of his uncle William Ellis Hughes who was 50 and a Surveyor for the District Council. His wife was Mary 50 and his own two children were Harold 21* and Edith 25. Ronald was aged 32, single and a Postman.
* Harold Hughes was also in the War, but survived, and his Flintshire WW1 Index Card (Connah’s Quay L181) tells us he was in the Royal Engineers as a Pioneer, his trade before the war was Assistant Surveyor for the District Council, and his period of Service was 1 year, his father W.E. Ellis signed the card on the 25th October 1919.
His brother, Mathew Henry, was living in a Boarding House in Castle Street, Flints, he was a Widower and working in the Iron Works as a Dipper. There was no place of birth stated. I suspect he married in 1908 an also suspect that his wife had died the following year 1909. I will be try to find out more.
There is a WW1 Flintshire Index card (Connah’s Quay F14) for Ronald in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at the County Archive Office in Hawarden. It was completed by his Uncle W E Hughes who lived at Bryn Siriol, Mold Road Connah’s Quay. It tells us that Ronald enlisted in April 1915. It gives the regimental details as above and it is here that the explanation about the gunshot wound to the chest was written.
There are details about Ronald on the UK Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll 1914-19. It gives his birth date and place (16th May 1880, Wrexham) and regimental details as above. It says he was killed as a direct result of enemy action and died on 20th February 1918. It records the name of the cemetery and it tells us that relatives had been informed naming ‘Uncle: William Hughes Bryn St (should have been Bryn Siriol) Mold Road, Connah’s Quay.’
The probate Calendar (index of Wills and Administration 1858 -1966) records the following
Record for Ronald Alexander Davidson of Bryn Siriol Mold Road Connah’s Quay Flintshire A private Ply/5835 RHLI 63rd (Royal Naval) Division died 20th February 1918 in France on active military service. Probate St Asaph 28th December to John Bibby Denny solicitor’s managing clerk and William Ellis Hughes County Surveyer. Effects £411.12.9d
Alister Williams, Friends of Wrexham Museum – Wrexham War Memorial Project kindly informed us that Ronald Alexander Davidson is also remembered on the Wrexham War Memorial, Many thanks to Alister.