Private Walter Davidson


Walter Davidson was born on 15 July 1897 at Dunadry, Templepatrick, County Antrim, the third of six children of Scottish-born grocer Nathaniel Davidson and his wife Maggie (née Close). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Dunadry with his parents and four of his siblings.

Davidson enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 13 and 19 April 1915 (No.1485). On 22 September 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A, C and D Squadrons.

In May and June 1916 A, D and E Squadrons of the North Irish Horse combined to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, and C and F Squadrons joined the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, each serving as corps cavalry units.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Davidson, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Davidson was issued regimental number 41274 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Davidson was one of the many initially posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. He rejoined the battalion, however, on 2 April.

No further information has been discovered about Davidson's service with the 9th (NIH) Battalion through the remainder of 1918. On 28 February 1919 he transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers Special Reserve.


At least two of Davidson's brothers also served in the war: William Close Davidson in the King Edward's Horse, Northumberland Fusiliers and Tank Corps; and John Hamilton Davidson in the Royal Naval Reserve.