Roll of Honour

2nd Lieutenant

George Wilson Davidson

George Wilson Davidson was born on the 8th July 1897 at 122 Cambridge Street, Glasgow, into a family renowned for its art dealership. His grandfather, also George, established the business in 1870. Specialising in gold framing, art supplies and restoration, it served customers all over the U.K. The business was sold on to George Stenhouse Davidson, George senior’s son, who married Alice in 1893. George Wilson Davidson was the couple’s only son. Little is known of his early life but for some reason he and his sister Dorothy were in Aberdeen, recorded in the 1911 census under the roof of a Mrs Cattenach, a boarding house keeper. In 1915 George joined Glasgow University O.T.C. but he did not enlist in one of the locally raised battalions. In September 1915 he was gazetted 2nd lieutenant to the West Yorkshire Regiment, 15th Battalion, raised in Leeds. They were bound for France.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

In 1917 the battalion was in action at Arras. After the 3rd Battle of the Scarpe (3-4 May), and its heavy losses, they had experienced a period of relative quiet, and had even had some fun. When they amalgamated with another Leeds (Pals) battalion on the 7th December, there were cheers and free beer. Later there was Christmas dinner. On Thursday, 27th December, however, George died of wounds which he sustained when he was hit by a sniper. Even when there were no specific battles taking place there was always danger in the trenches, in routine patrols, checking out no man’s land, or making raids on enemy trenches. According to a history of the Regiment, George was particularly unlucky to have been the only named officer of his battalion to die since May. Lieutenant Davidson, aged just twenty, was buried at Rodincourt Military Cemetery near Arras. When his father died in 1920 he appears to have left £1000 to the Western Infirmary for a surgical bed, in honour of his son.