Spr Alexander Russell Davison - 11th Fd Coy

Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, England
RCE Dieppe Memorial in Newhaven, England

Sapper Alexander Russell Davison was born in 1904 to John and Janet Davison of Guelph, ON. He was married to Clara May Guelph and they had a family of six children. Alexander was an Electrical and Plumbing Contractor who had prior service with The 30th Wellington Battalion of Rifles in Guelph. He enlisted on 19 April 1940 and joined 11th Field Company.

The 11th Field Company had mobilized in Sarnia on 1 Sep 1939 and had moved quickly to Camp Petawawa, ON for training. Alexander joined 11th Fd Coy in Petawawa on 3 July and he was qualified as an Electrician before the end of the month. He embarked with the company from Halifax for England on 22 Aug 1940.
By Nov 1941 the company had moved to Seaford in the County of Sussex as part of operational defence plan for south-east England. They had settled down to a period of more construction and training when they were tasked to prepare for Op RUTTER – the Dieppe Raid. About 65 members of the unit eventually took part in the Dieppe raid and those sappers had concentrated in the area of the Isle of Wight for training and exercises in preparation for the Dieppe Raid.

For the Dieppe Raid, Sapper Davison was a member of Sucharov’s Party of 92 All Ranks that was organized into eight teams and distributed among the Landing Craft. Brown’s team of 15 was commanded by Lt Wood and was transported in Tank Landing Craft (LCT) 3A. Assigned to WHITE Beach, their primary tasks were to support the landings by clearing mines and other obstacles, breach the Esplanade Wall and prepare beach exit routes for tracks and wheels.

Davison was aboard LCT 3. While several of the LCTs were unable to land, Lt Woods’ made it to the shore but Sapper Davison was killed by heavy enemy weapons fire while he was on the beach. A colleague later reported that Davison had “showed conspicuous gallantry and extreme devotion to duty in that he, although hit once, and under intense fire, insisted on carrying on until additional wounds made this impossible.” Sapper Davison was Killed in Action. He is commemorated on the memorial panels at the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey, United Kingdom.

{…with research assistance by the Canadian Military Engineer Museum…}

 

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