7388 L/Cpl T.H. Davidson was discharged from the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on termination of his engagement on 6 November 1915, at the age of 32.
Thomas H Davidson was Mary Adams’ nephew who grew up in Tullylish near Gilford, Co. Down. He enlisted in the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1902, serving in South Africa (1903), Egypt (1903-05), Crete (1907-08) and Malta (1908-09). He returned back to the UK in 1909, and was transferred to the Army Reserve.
On outbreak of war, he was mobilized at Omagh (the Inniskillings’ depot) on 6 August 1914, and sent to camp at Lough Swilly where he was posted to 3rd Battalion on 19th August. He disembarked in France with the 2nd Battalion as part of the B.E.F. on 27 August 1914 when he was appointed as L/Cpl. He was wounded in France on 7 November 1914. He remained in France until 31 October 1915.
Thomas Davidson joined the 2nd “Skins” the day after the Battle of Le Cateau when the battalion were fast retreating from the advancing Germans. The battalion were then involved in the Battles of the Marne, the Aisne and Messines 1914. In 1915 they were actively involved in the Battle of Festubert in May and the Battle of Loos in September. Davidson was likely to have been involved in most of these engagements.
He was posted back to the Depot on 1 November 1915 before being “discharged on termination of his first period of engagement” on 6 November 1915. He had served for 13 years.
Up until the introduction of conscription by the passing of the Military Service Act of 1916, a man who had served under a Regular or Territorial engagement and who reached the normal expiry of that engagement could and would be discharged from the army. This even applied to experienced men who were serving in the trenches at the time. The man was known as “time expired”. (thanks to the Long Long Trail for this information).