CWG: Leading Seaman Alfred Davidge

Leading Seaman Alfred Davidge

Alfred Ernest Davidge was born on 22nd July 1882, one of six children to Richard and Ermina. Richard was a boilermaker from Bristol, but brought his family up in the Wiltshire town of Swindon.

Alfred was keen on adventure, and sought out a live on the open seas. In August 1898, at the age of sixteen, he joined the Royal Navy. After serving two years at the rank of Boy, he officially enlisted for a term of twelve years.

Starting as an Ordinary Seaman, Alfred had worked his way up to Leading Seaman by 1905. He continued in this role until 7th June 1909, when he was knocked back a rank for misconduct. He evidently realised the error of his ways, however, as, just over a year later, he was promoted again.

Leading Seaman Davidge’s term of service came to an end in July 1912, and, having been assigned to seventeen vessels during that time, he became part of the Royal Naval Reserve.

Back on home soil, and Alfred set up home in Taunton. He found work as a labourer and, in October 1913, married local lady Louisa Pomeroy. The couple went on to have a daughter, Hilda.

Storm clouds were gathering over Europe by now, and Alfred was soon recalled to the Royal Navy. He took up his previous role, and, after a period of training at HMS Vivid in Plymouth, he was assigned to HMS Suffolk.

Leading Seaman Davidge spent eighteen months aboard HMS Suffolk (during which time the photo below was taken), before being transferred to HMS Columbella in November 1916. His time there was short, however, as he became unwell.

Admitted to the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow with influenza, Leading Seaman Davidge sadly succumbed to the condition on 17th March 1917. He was 34 years old.

Alfred Ernest Davidge was brought back to Taunton for burial. He lies at rest in the St James Cemetery in the town.


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Alfred Davidge
(from findagrave.com)

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