The AIF Project

Alexander DAVIDSON

Regimental number1138
Place of birthEdinburgh, Scotland
True NameDuncan, Alexander
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFireman
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation38
Height5' 8.5"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinBrother, J. Davidson, Reigo Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
Previous military serviceCameron Highlanders (8 years); Royal Field Artillery (4 years)
Enlistment date10 October 1914
Place of enlistmentRosehill, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A19 Afric on 18 October 1914
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Name does not appear on Nominal Roll
Date of death22-25 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records42
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
28
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Alexander and Agnes DUNCAN
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (Gallipoli Campaign), 5 April 1915.

Tried by Field General Court Martial, at sea, 13 April 1915, on charge of while on active service, using insubordinate language to a superior officer; found Guilty: awarded 1 day's Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, Mudros, 8 October 1915, of being absent without leave from Reveille, 5 October 1915, until 0700 hours, 8 October 1915 (72.5 hours): awarded 7 days' confined to barracks and forfeits 4 days' pay.

Admitted to No 1 Casualty Clearing Station, Gallipoli, 10 December 1915; transferred to HS 'Grantully Castle', 10 December 1915; to No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 14 December 1915 (nephritis); to Anzac Convalescent Camp, Helouan, 22 December 1915; marched into Overseas Base, Ghezireh, 29 December 1915.

Found guilty, Ghezireh, 1 March 1916, of being absent without leave from 1400 hours, 26 February 1916, until 0230 hours, 29 February 1916: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeits 4 days' pay by Royal Warrant.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 29 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 4 April 1916.

Found guilty, 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 12 May 1916, of (1) drunkenness; (2) being absent from parade: awarded 10 days' confined to barracks, and fined 2/6.

Proceeded to unit, 14 May 1916; rejoined 1st Bn, in the field, 15 May 1916.

Admitted to No 1 Field Ambulance, 12 July 1916, and transferred to No 4 Casualty Clearing Station the same day (sore feet and varicose veins); discharged, 15 July 1916; rejoined unit, 17 July 1916.

Killed in action, 22/25 July 1916.

Buried in vicinity of Pozieres.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, DAVIDSON Alexander

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