Cuthbert Glen DAVISON

Poppy

DAVISON, Cuthbert Glen

Service Number: 158
Enlisted: 21 August 1914, Randwick, New South Wales
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Mount Gambier, South Australia, 7 May 1894
Home Town: Mount Gambier, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Schooling: Kyre College & St Peter's Collegiate School
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Killed in action (GSW - head), Gallipoli, 7 August 1915, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Lone Pine Cemetery, ANZAC
No specific grave but believed to be buried in Lone Pine Cemetery - about 500 were buried on the same day side by side - there were to many to be buried individually Lone Pine Cemetery (Sp. Mem. C. 26), Gallipoli
Memorials: Adelaide Rowing Club WW1 Pictorial Honour Board, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Mount Gambier RSL Pictorial Honour Roll, Mount Gambier War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

21 Aug 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 158, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
21 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Randwick, New South Wales
18 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 158, 2nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Suffolk, Sydney
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 158, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
6 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 158, 2nd Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli

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Biography

158 Corporal (Cpl) Cuthbert Glen Davison, 2nd Battalion, was a 20 year old bank clerk from Mount Gambier, South Australia when he enlisted on 21 August 1914.

After embarking for overseas from Sydney, NSW on 18 October 1914 aboard HMAT Suffolk with B Company of the Battalion, he underwent further training in Egypt.

The 2nd Battalion took part in the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves. On 6 August, the 1st Brigade, including the 2nd Battalion, led the charge at Lone Pine. Cpl Davison was killed in action sometime between 7 and 14 August 1915 at Lone Pine and is believed to be buried at Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli.

 

Extract from the Roll of Honour Circular:

"Extract - For His Country's Sake. Sergeant Cuthbert Davison, a Mount Gambier native, a worthy son of worthy parents, is now numbered amongst the heroes who have fallen in battle on blood-stained Gallipoli. He was a scholar, athlete, gentleman, and soldier - and is the first native of Mount Gambier to forfeit his life in Britain's cause. He had spent his childhood days in this town, had the blessing of an ideal home training, and the advantage of a sound education.

The late Sgt Davison, as he merged from his teens into the first years of manhood, gave promise of a bright and useful career, and bid fair to prove an honour to his honoured parents. This makes it all the more sad to realise that such a promising career has been brought to a sad and early close, not withstanding the one consolation left to mourning relatives - that Cuthbert Davison had died a hero's death.

The departed soldier was a son of Mr F Davison, S.M. and Mrs Davison, of Bay Road, Mount Gambier, and was only in his 22nd year. He was in Sydney when the war broke out, and enlisted there in August, 1914, shorly after the outbreak of war. Unfortunately, he was on the sick list for a long time, and was unable to proceed to the front until July last. The gallant young sergeant was barely a month on the battlefield when he was killed, the Ven. Archdeacon Samwell receiving a telegram on Tuesday afternoon last, stating that Sgt. C.G. Davison, of the 3rd Battalion, NSW, had been killed in action on Gallipoli between 7th - 14th August. The painful duty thus devolved on the Archdeacon of breaking the sad news to the bereaved parents and relatives, for whom the sincerest sympathy is felt by their many friends in the town and district.

The late Sgt. Davison was educated at St Peters College, Adelaide, where he made a name for himself as an athlete and scholar, and distinguished himself both in rowing and pedestrian contests. On his return to Mount Gambier he won the esteem and admiration of all who knew him, being a clean, skilful footballer, and a true sport in the best sense of the term. If it is grevious to think that such a fine and promising career should be extinguished by a single stroke, at least we may find some solace in the fact that youhng Cuthbert Davison died for his country's sake - a soldier and a man"

 

A statement from Private Charles Lind, a witness to Davidson’s death, said Davidson was “shot through the head during a bayonet charge at the edge of the Turkish trenches just before the taking of Lone Pine”.

 

Following Davidson’s death, the Mount Gambier "The Border Watch" published an article about his short life.

It recorded that: “he was a scholar, athlete, gentleman and soldier – and was the first native of Mount Gambier to forfeit his life in Britain’s cause”.

 

From the Book Fallen Saints

Cuthbert Glen Davison was born at Mount Gambier, South Australia and attended the School, as did his father years earlier.

Cuthbert was awarded a Vansittart scholarship to the School and while there proved to be an outstanding athlete, footballer and oarsman. He rowed in the first crew at Henley-on-Yarra and at the intercollegiate sports day in 1911 won the mile footrace in the time of just five minutes and one second. [i]

After leaving school, he worked for two years as a clerk in the Adelaide office of the Bank of New South Wales and later transferred to the Inverell branch in New South Wales.

He enlisted at Randwick NSW in August 1914, and as he had already served three years under the compulsory cadet scheme and was a serving member of the 13th Infantry Battalion, he was promoted to corporal within a few weeks of joining B Company, 2nd Battalion.

He sailed from Sydney aboard HMAT Suffolk on 18 October and after arriving in Egypt was transferred to A Company.

In April, 158 Corporal Davison embarked for Gallipoli aboard HMS Derfflinger but fell during the voyage and was hospitalised at Malta but rejoined the battalion in late July and was killed during the fighting at Lone Pine sometime between 7 and 14 August 1915; he was 21 years of age.  

Cuthbert was a well-known and highly respected member of the Mount Gambier community and the first from there to be killed in action; it is not surprising the Mount Gambier newspaper published an article about his short life.

 He was a scholar, athlete, gentleman, and soldier - and is the first native of Mount Gambier to forfeit his life in Britain's cause. He had spent his childhood days in this town, had the blessing of an ideal home training, and the advantage of a sound education. [ii]

Witness statements [iii]

In October 1915, Sergeant Major Norman Railton said Corporal Davison ‘was hit in the head with a bullet’ and killed on 8 August at Lone Pine. Railton who claimed to have known Davison well since they left Sydney together in October 1914 said he saw him killed as he was nearby him in the trench at the time. He said he saw Davison dead but knew nothing about his burial.

Private Charles Lind who was from the same platoon as Davison said he was near him when he saw him ‘shot through the head during the bayonet charge at the edge of the Turkish trenches just before the taking of Lone Pine.’ He said he saw him fall, and thought ‘his death was instantaneous, but cannot be sure of this.’

In 1919, in answer to an enquiry made by Davison’s Aunt in England, the Red Cross wrote he was killed in action sometime between 7-14.8.l5 with  no record of burial and no hope of further particulars being obtained.



[i] St  Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, December 1915, p. 54
[ii] South East Star, Mount Gambier, 3 Sept 1915
[iii] Australian War Memorial, Red Cross wounded and missing enquiry bureau files – Davison, Cuthbert Glen / 0891004, viewed 6 December 2005

 

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