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Remembered Today:

2nd Manchesters


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During this days fighting a company of the 2nd manchesters reached Ten Tree Alley and were cut off.It is recorded that they halted on a small rise and refused ti surrender fighting it out to the last man.The bodies were found later all grouped together.

Does anyone on the forum know where the 'rise' is located ?


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You may need to let us know what you know and what your sources are - the war diary does not mention specifics except for D Company under Lt Davidson (presumably M R Davidson, PoW 18/11/16) continuing onwards and losing touch with their flanking units. The Brigade and Divisional diaries provide little further information except that the latter refers to all three companies in the attacking undergoing something similar. This happened between Serre and Beaumont Hamel.

Whilst newspapers and those with a lyrical bent can romanticise such last stands there are often more details to be found and there are seldom 'no survivors' to such actions. My first port of call would be a trip to Kew to find the officer file of Lt Davidson to read his account of his capture. Otherwise a detailed examination of the CWGC records for those of 2nd Manchesters killed that day would provide trench map references to where men, whose graves were concentrated later, were originally buried.

Are you researching anyone particular?

Kind regards


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Hi Colin,

Thanks for your reply.I am not researching anyone in particular but I became curious as to the possible location of this last stand.Whilst reading British battalions on the Somme (Westlake) the given narrative for the 2nd Manchesters states that the author of their official history recounts that one company became separated and cut off.They refused to surrender and formed a defensive position on a slight rise fighting it out to the last man.Their bodies were found later on all grouped together.

I was wondering as to the verification of this action and if true the location of the 'slight rise'.


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Surname Davidson

Forename/Initial M. R.

Rank Lieut.

Regiment, Corps or Force 1st and 2nd Battalions. Manchester Regiment

Date Missing 18/11/16

Interned 1/1/19

Date of Disembarkation 16/09/14

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Shocking thread from the Manchesters forum:

"He was also entitles to the GSM with clasp for Iraq
Next I have him as taking over temp command of the 1st Battalion in Singapore
in 1939,with the departure of Lieut/Colnel Cowes to Egypt and before the arrival
of Major E H Holmes M.C from the 2nd Bn.
I then have him leaving Singapore on the 15th Aug 1939 with his wife on the troopship
Dilwara for England.
Rank: Major
Service No: 8660
Date of Death: 08/08/1946
Age: 51
Manchester Regiment
Grave Reference 3A. B. 15.
Additional Information:
Son of William Bruce Ferguson Davidson and Mary Jane Davidson; husband of Ailsa Mary Davidson, of Middleton-on-Sea, Sussex.
The question I've got and I can't find the answer is
On E bay are some photos of Major Davidson
and the seller states that he was murdered by his second in command
Can anyone confirm that this is true or not.
hi neill, its correct, ;D
Court Martial
Of Former N.Z.
Officer for Murder
HAMBURG, Tuesday.
After the trial of Captain James Stewart, of the King's Rifles, on a charge of murder of his commanding officer, Major Murdoch Ross Davidson, the court martial announced that the sentence will be
promulgated later.
Counsel for the defence stated that Stewart joined the N.Z. defence forces at Christchurch nearly 40 years ago and he had a clean army record.
A German caretaker of a flat stated that he saw Stewart standing in Davidson's room with a revolver
in his hand; he then heard a shot and saw Davidson fall to the floor.
? Counsel submitted that Stewart was insane at the time of the murder and pleaded for a
recommendation of mercy.
Great find Tony
Sad end!
nice work tony.
mack ;D
He joined the 2nd Bn from Royal Military College
as a Second Lieutenants on the 15th August,
Served nearly 32 years to the day."
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That's some great detail of his service. Sadly it makes my advice above regarding his account of capture as his documents will still be with the MOD. I'm not sure if the files of any of the killed officers from the 2nd Manchesters on this day will also offer any details as to their deaths.



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