The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private (later Captain, MC) John Davidson

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: John "Jock" Davidson

Ancestor's date of birth: 07/02/1883

Ancestor's date of death: 04/11/1973

Cause of Death: Old age and WW1 Gallipoli wounds

Service Number: 7713

Colony or State of enlistment: Not applicable, Place of Enlistment: Aberdeen, Scotland

Unit: 3rd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: On enlistment

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): CAPT, Date Effective: 22/10/1917

Murray Page: Not applicable, did not serve in an Australian unit in the Boer War.

Contingent: Not applicable

Ship: DILWARD, Date of Sailing: 15/04/1902

Memorial details: New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum, Parramatta NSW

Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Orange Free State, Transvaal and Cape Colony clasps. Military Cross, Mention in despatches, 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

Personal Characteristics: Height 1.7 m, weight: 61 kg (1914)

Reasons to go and fight: A serving soldier

Details of service in war: When the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders conisiting initially of the first battalion from Cairo, subsequently reinforced by drafts from the second and third battalions, landed in South Africa, they became part of the 21st Infantry Brigade under the command of Major General Ian Hamilton's column and proceeded to march from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg and to Pretoria.
With the fall of Pretoria, the Camerons joined in pursuing the Boars forces, which had escaped from Pretoria, and on the June 11th and 12th, 1900 the Cameron's were engaged in a victorious attack on the Boer's position at the Battle of Diamond Hill, which is just outside of Pretoria.
Then in July of 1900, the Cameron's became part of General Sir Archibald Hunter's Force that also included the Highland Brigade, which took part in the operations within the Orange River Colony. The Camerons engaged in an arduous pursuit which led them to surround and capture General Prinsloo's army at Brandwater Basin in the Wittebergen Mts, and also had a fierce conflict with the capture of Spitzkopf. This was the second major surrender of the Boar forces during the conflict.
During the later stages of the Boer War, the Camerons operated in and around Kroonstad in the Orange River Colony. During this time the unit made excursions to Ladybrand and also to the northwest of the colony. Then in 1901 the Camerons went north to the Transvaal, to take part in build and manning the series of strategic block houses, which aided General Kitchener in dividing up the country and clearing each section. Within those two and half years the Camerons had marched approximately 5,000 km while on active duty in the region.

Service and life after the Boer War: Migrated to Australia. Enlisted in the 1st Light Horse Regiment (AIF) 22 August 1914 as a Staff Sergeant (SQMS). Wounded in action, 1 June 1915 (gun shot wound, head); admitted to No 1 General Hospital, Cairo, 7 June 1915; transferred to Convalescent Hospital, Helouan, 13 June 1915; rejoined unit, Gallipoli, 5 August 1915.
Appointed Squadron Sergeant Major (WOII), 11 August 1915.
Taken on strength, No 1 Company, Imperial Camel Corps, Abbassia, 18 July 1916.
Appointed Lieutenant, 23 October 1916, and posted to Imperial Camel Corps.
Taken on strength, 3rd Anzac Bn, Imperial Camel Corps, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1 November 1916.
Appointed Temporary Adjutant (Captain), Details Camp, Moascar, 22 October 1917.
Transferred to 15th Light Horse Regiment, 1 July 1918.
Returned to Australia, and discharged 27 March 1919. No further details provided.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Geoffrey Davidson, Braddon ACT 2612
Relationship to Ancestor: Grandchild


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields