Glenfarg War Memorial Project

James Davidson

Private S/17470 2nd Battalion Black Watch Royal Highlanders

Born 31 July 1892, Aberdour, Fife.
Died 11 November 1918, Alexandria, Egypt.


James Davidson was the son of William and Mary (née Colliar) Davidson, born 31 July 1892 at The Banks, Aberdour, Fife. His parents married on 18 December 1890 at Blackdub, Cleish, Kinrossshire, his father a ploughman, his mother a domestic servant.

The 1901 census shows the family – William, a coal pit labourer aged 31, Mary aged 33 and their children Christina aged 10, James aged 8, David aged 7, Maggie aged 5 and William aged 11months – living at Rybog Cottage, east Cleish.

William, his wife and Christina are shown as having been born in Cleish; James and David in Aberdour, Fife; Maggie in KInghorn and William in Cleish.

By the 1911 census the family has moved to Gairneybridge, west Cleish. William, now 10, is the only child of those on the 1901 census still at home, the others – Christina, James, David and Maggie are not listed, but four more children have been born since that last census: Charles aged 8, Lizzie, aged 5, George aged 4 and Isabella aged 2; all born in Cleish.

James would have been 19 that year. At some point he enlisted at Perth in the 2nd Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) but there is no indication as to when he entered the theatre of war. The 2nd Battalion Black Watch was in India when war broke out in August 1914, but was called back and landed at Le Havre, France on 12 October 1914. In December1915 it moved to Mesopotamia and in January 1918 to Palestine, arriving Suez 13 January 1918 as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

James Davidson is one of many listed on the regimental return as having 'Died of Disease', and it is ironic that he should have succumbed on the very day that the Armistice was declared.

His Soldier's Will, which was dated 20 July but with no year, left all his effects to his mother, Mrs W. Davidson of Hilton Cottage, Duncrievie, Glenfarg, Perthshire, Scotland. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave registration documents give his parents' address as Plum Cottage, Drunzie Feus, Glenfarg, Perthshire.

He is buried in the cemetery at Alexandria (Hadra), Egypt.