Margaret Davidson

On the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle can be found the record of Margaret Davidson, a casualty of WW1. Most of the details are missing – except that she was in the Women’s Services, her unit name given as Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross Society, Scottish VAD Casualties. And the final identifier: on the line which is headed Other Detail, is the word “Bute”.

Margaret Wood Davidson was born in Cleobury Mortimer in 1896 to John Joseph Davidson, a gardener and his wife, Barbara Janet, ms Wood who had been married on 3rd January 1895 at Stitchell. In 1901 Margaret, aged five, was living with them at Shakenhurst Hall. John Davidson was a gardener and lived in the lodge. Margaret had a brother, John James, who was three.

By 1911 the family was living in Ardencraig Cottage, Isle of Bute. Margaret was fifteen, John James was eleven, a further son George was nine and a daughter, Agnes Barbara, born 29th October 1909, was one.

On a wooden plaque to men of the parish fallen in the Great War in St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rothesay, Margaret is commemorated last on the list. Also there is her brother, John James Davidson. His war record was easier to find.

He was a private in the 96th Battalion of the Canadian Infantry and died, in training, of spinal meningitis at Camp Hughes Training Camp, near Carberry, Manitoba. He was 18.

The National Records of Scotland show that Margaret Davidson died in Ardencraig Cottage, on 19th August 1917. She died of a Cerebral Embolism, Valvular Heart disease and Rheumatism. She was 21 years old. One must assume, as she is listed as a casualty on the Scottish War Memorial and in St Paul’s,that the conditions which led to her death were brought about by her service in the war.