war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper




Guy John Middleton was born just outside Dover in 1890. During the Great War he served as a Sergeant in the Royal Field Artillery.


On 21st July 1916 he was mending communication wires during heavy shelling by Mametz Wood. He kept the communications open until he was wounded in both legs. He was awarded the Military Medal for his actions, but died before receiving it. 

The letter (left and right) sent to Guy's mother by his commanding officer, Lt Col M Hartland-Mahon, spoke of Guy in the most warm terms:

"I cannot say how deeply I feel his loss. He was attached to this Headquarters all the time I have been in command of this Brigade and the more loyal, devoted and fearless man it would be impossible to find.

He seemed positively to enjoy being under fire; whenever communications were cut by the enemy's shell fire he was out at once to put them right, no matter how heavy the hostile shelling might be.  

It was on that particular duty that he was employed when he lost his life, and thereby we all lost a fine soldier. I had the honour only 2 days previously to his death to recommend him for reward for his bravery and devotion, and I am glad to say that the recommendation was approved.

 It is a matter of the greatest grief to me that he was not spared to receive this distinction, yet I trust it will be some consolation to you to know that your son's fine record was not unappreciated.

The Officers of the Staff and the men also, who like myself were more intimately associated with Sergeant Middleton, desire me to add their more particular sympathy with you in the loss you have sustained.

While again deploring his loss his memory will live with us, as that of a man who set a fine example to everyone by his wonderful courage and the zeal with which he carried out his duties." 

Mrs Fanny Davidson was Guy's mother. He was her eldest son. His father, James, died while Guy was still a child, and Mrs Davidson remarried in December 1898.

Her second husband was Mr Francis Walter Davidson. He had served in the Seaforth Highlanders since the age of 19, and requested a discharge just before his marriage. They had a son, Douglas, born in 1900, at Hillside, Dover.

The image right is from Mrs Davidson's war-time permit book, issued in December 1916. Below are Douglas Davidson, and the the front and the first pages of his permit, issued October 1916

Douglas Davidson

Mrs Davidson had four children.  Harold was Mrs Davidson's second son. He is the Guard in white in the image on the left, and pictured in later life on the right. A daughter, probably named Rosie May, died at the early age of 25 in an infirmary.

with thanks to Mr D. J. W. Davidson

Copyright 2006/8/9 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved