Robert McIntyre Davidson1

(9 September 1881 - 16 September 1916)
FatherWalter Davidson1 (Nov 1848 - Oct 1881)
MotherJessie McIntyre1 (cir. 1854 - Dec 1915)
Relationship1st cousin 2 times removed of Lorna Henderson

BMDB data

     Robert McIntyre Davidson was born on 9 Sep 1881 Chirnside, BEW, SCT.1 Some sources believe Robert was born on 9 Sep 1886 as this date is shown, erroneously, in his WW1 attestation papers, on his Regina h/stone, & on the Manitoba death index.2,3,4
     Robert McIntyre Davidson died on 16 Sep 1916 nr Carberry, Dist of North Cypress, MAN, CAN, at age 35; having been murdered and thrown off a train. According to the newspaper accounts saved by the family, the inquest ruled the death suspicious, but the military ruled it accidental.
     The newspaper cuttings for 17 Sept describe a mystery death, the body of R M Davidson being found early yesterday morning beside the CPR track, 2½ miles west of Carberry, the injuries causing his dth being undoubtedly caused by a train. Not a cent being found on his person although he was known to have had $50 in his possession some hours prior. An officer had spoken to him at 9pm the previous night, and he was found 8am. The description of the position of the body casts doubt on the accidental nature of his dth as the trail looked as if it was caused by a westbound train, but the body was in a ditch beside the eastbound line. Mention is also made of a half smoked cigarette and the position of his coat. He did not have a pass to be absent from camp. Only known relative was a brother in Regina.
     The inquest was adjourned on Sep 18th (Mon), being postponed until Wed evening, "a full investigation of rumors which would indicate foul play is now being made."1,4 A funeral service was held for Robert McIntyre Davidson from Victoria Ave, Regina, SAS, CAN, 2pm service, military firing party in attendance, internment at Regina Cem., Rev Dr Murdoch MacKinnon officiating. Although no date given the funeral notices refer to his dth "last Saturday."5

Migration

     Robert McIntyre Davidson immigrated from Glasgow, 28 Mar 1890, sailing via Derry. on the SS Siberian arriving 10 Apr 1890 Halifax,NS,CAN Quarriers having transported them as "Home Children". Passenger list shows John, 17; Walter 12; Robert 8, all destined for Brockville.1,6

Census/Where lived/Occupations

     The siblings, Robert McIntyre Davidson, lived with their mother Jessie Davidson cir. 1887 Glasgow, LKS, SCT; having moved to be nearer her family after her husband, Walter, died.1 Robert McIntyre Davidson was not found in the census of 1901 CAN nearest match I could find in 1901 was indexed in Leeds Cty, Ontario as Robert Dandson, 19, emig 1890, but his birthdate is clearly given as Feb 1882, neither of which bits fit, even if I could interprete Dandson as Davidson (which I could.)7
     By Jan 1916 Robert McIntyre Davidson was living Regina, SAS, CAN, as he joined the CEF there. No paper trace of his movements between his arrival aged 8 and his enlistment have yet been found. He must have been in touch with his family though, as pictures of him in his youth have survived, he named his brother Walter as his next of kin, and left his worldly goods to his half sister Jane and sister-in-law Edith (wife of John). The pictures show him working as a farmer, cook, trapper in Northern Canada. He apparently also had a homestead south of Regina, but no trace has yet been found. At enlistment he gave his occupation as a cook.8,3 He was supposedly a farmer as his funeral notice refers to his owning a farm several miles out of Regina.5

Military

     Robert McIntyre Davidson began military service in 1916 Camp Hughes, MAN, CAN, being sent to train there in early 1916.8 In Jan 1916 Walter Fairbairn Davidson was named as next of kin for Robert McIntyre Davidson.8,3 Robert McIntyre Davidson had left instructions for the dispostion of his estate in the event of his dth. His medals and commendations went to his sister-in-law Edith (John's wife) and step sister Jane/Jean.8 He ended military service on 16 Sep 1916 nr Carberry, Dist of North Cypress, MAN, CAN, having been due to ship out to England in Oct, he was robbed and thrown off the train near Carberry sometime during the night of Sep 16th . The Military gave him a full military funeral in Regina.
     Commonwealth War Graves details show: Robert McIntyre Davidson, Canadian, Private in the 152nd Bn Canadian Infantry, aged 30, died 16 Sep 1916 Service No #925255, son of W W Davidson, of 1816 McIntyre St, Regina, Sask, buried Regina Cem. P C 19.186, one of 169 casualties in the cemetery.8,9

All the other info

     Cir. 1887 Jessie turned her 3 sons over to Quarriers, having been unable to find work. Jessie was given work as a cook in one of the children's homes and the boys were sent to care, John to learn a trade, Robert and Walter to an infirmary because they both had whooping cough. Jessie's sister accompanied her when she signed over the boys and the sister strongly objected to the boys being sent to Canada.10 Robert McIntyre Davidson was described as 5ft 4in, 38 in chest with 4 in expansion, ruddy complexion with black eyes and black hair, C of E (and gave his age as 29 yrs 5 mths, which backdates to Aug 1886, some 5 years later than his actual birth) on 24 Jan 1916 Regina, SAS, CAN.3 He was interred with Walter Fairbairn Davidson and Amy Davidson Regina Cem, Regina, SAS, CAN; (Robert is Walter's brother, note that the h/stone erroneously shows Robert's birth date as 1886.)8
ChartsFAIRBAIRN
John & Bessie (FFLINT) FAIRBAIRN
DAVIDSON
Last Edited7 Oct 2007

Citations

  1. Shirley Heaton (36523), "EM DAVIDSON/McINTYRE ex Shirley H," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, rcvd Dec 2003.
  2. Shirley Heaton (36523), "EM DAVIDSON/McINTYRE ex Shirley H," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Erroneous birth info in Robert DAVIDSON's WW1 attestation papaers, rcvd Dec 2003.
  3. Misc. web searches and corres. re DAVIDSON http://www.archives.ca WWI attestation papers online, Robert McIntyre DAVIDSON, searched Jan 2004.
  4. Index of births deaths marriages, http://vitalstats.gov.mb.ca/Query.php, Dth 16 Sep 1916 Robert McIntyre DAVIDSON, reg. RM North Cypress, MAN, 1916-054103, aged 30, extracted Oct 2007.
  5. Shirley Heaton (36523), "EM DAVIDSON/McINTYRE ex Shirley H," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Newspaper clippings from the Regina Leader Post Sep 17/18th 1916, from Scrap book of Isabella DAVIDSON, rcvd Jan 2004.
  6. Misc. web searches and corres. re DAVIDSON http://www.archives.ca Home Children, searched Jan 2004.
  7. Census image, Canada, via Ancestry.com, 1901, Robert DAVIDSON, emig c 1890, born c. 1881-6, rechecked Oct 2007.
  8. Shirley Heaton (36523), "EM DAVIDSON/McINTYRE ex Shirley H," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, rcvd Jan 2004.
  9. C'Wealth War Graves online at http://www.cwgc.org/, DAVIDSON dths, searched Jan 2004.
  10. Shirley Heaton (36523), "EM DAVIDSON/McINTYRE ex Shirley H," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, rcvd Dec 2003 (extracted from Quarriers records).

E. & O. E. Some/most parish records are rather hard to read and names, places hard to interpret, particularly if you are unfamiliar with an area.