Heritage Guide to The Geelong College

Search the Guide

To find information in this Guide please select one of the green coloured options.

To Select a Page Group when displayed, right click and select 'Open'.

Copyright Conditions Apply.

DAVIDSON, Keith McMillan (1885-1967)

DAVIDSON, Keith McMillan (1885-1967)

Keith Davidson was educated at Geelong College where he was enrolled as student from 9 February 1897 studying at College until at least 1902. He played in the 1st Football XVIII of 1902.

He appears in many of the Prize Lists from 1897 to 1902 as follows:

1897, Dux of Junior College.
1897, 1st, English, Junior College.
1897, 1st, History, Junior College.
1897, 1st, Geography, Junior College.
1897, 1st, Arithmetic, Junior College.
1897, 1st, Latin, 1st Class.
1897, 1st, Scripture, Junior College.
1899, 1st, Arithmetic, Lower 4th Class Upper Division.
1899, 2nd, Algebra, Lower 4th Class Upper Division.
1899, 2nd, Euclid, Lower 4th Class Upper Division.
1899, 1st, French, Lower 4th Class.
1899, 2nd, Scripture, Lower 4th Class.
1900, 1st, Greek, 4th Class.
1902, Special prizes, University Class.

Keith Davidson was the son of the Rev Arthur Davidson and Helen Allen nee Pritchard, of Geelong and was born on 4 October 1885.

After College he started an Arts degree at Ormond College, The University of Melbourne, before enlisting (No 4395) in the AIF on 17 January 1916. He embarked on RMS Malwa on 21 March as an A/Corporal with 24 Infantry Battalion, then transferred as a Private to 37 Battalion on 23 October. Promoted to Lance Corporal on 27 November, he was wounded on the last day of 1916, as described by N G McNicol in The Thirty-Seventh:

‘On New Year’s Eve, each company in the 37th was ordered to send out a strong fighting-patrol on its particular front. The instructions were to penetrate, if possible, the enemy’s front-line defences and secure prisoners. No preparations were made to cut the German wire which, in daylight, showed up like a thick rusty wall. Alert enemy sentries soon discovered the unwonted movement in No-Man’s Land, and heavy machine-gun and trench-mortar fire was directed all along the front. None of the patrols succeeded in forcing an entry; in fact, they were fortunate in returning unscathed. D Company’s patrol, under Lt H C Parker, had the curious experience of returning to its own sector from the rear, having entered the line unchallenged through a tangle of old trenches midway between our own and the 38th Battalion’s position. As an enemy patrol might easily do the same thing, a sentry group was at once established at this point.’

Davidson was further promoted to L/Sergeant on 12 October 1917, his Lieutenant Colonel reporting that he was 'A very good type of (Officer) Cadet, capable and intelligent. He has done consistently good work and is in every way suitable and likely to make a good officer' . The foolowing year the was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 1 August 1918. He then transferred to 39 Battalion in the last month of the war with the amalgamation of battalions, and was promoted Lieutenant on 19 November. He was finally demobilised on 12 September 1919.

He died in 1967.

His brother, Arthur Irving Davidson (1875-1961), was also a day student at Geelong College.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. pp166-7 (citing The University of Melbourne: Record of Active Service of Teachers, Graduates, Undergraduates, Officers and Servants (1926); Pegasus; N G McNicol, The Thirty-Seventh: The History of the Thirty-Seventh Battalion AIF; National Archives).
© The Geelong College. Unless otherwise attributed, The Geelong College asserts its creative and commercial rights over all images and text used in this publication. No images or text material may be copied, reproduced or published without the written authorisation of The College.