The story of a St Cyrus doctor who served in the trenches of World War One has been told in a new book written by his grandson.
‘Fred’s War: A Doctor in the Trenches’ tells the life of Fred Davidson, a 25-year-old medical officer with the 1st Cameronians, part of the British Expeditionary Force that sailed across the English Channel to fight the Germans at the start of World War One.
His father, the Rev. Robert Davidson, was minister at St Cyrus for more than 50 years.
The book has been written by Fred’s grandson Andrew Davidson (54), who lives in Kent. He said: “I never met my grandfather. He died two days before I was born.
“I inherited three photo albums when my uncle got ill in 2000 containing 250 photographs from 1913 to 1915 taken by my grandfather and his friend Lieutenant Robert Money.
“I was interested why Fred had kept these photos and the story behind them.”
Mr Davidson said the book is for his daughter Elena (26) to know about her family history. He added that it is dedicated to Rosa and Ivor - Mr Davidson’s daughter and Fred’s son both of whom are dead. Mr Davidson said: “I felt a connection with my grandfather that we had both lost a child.”
The author said he decided to the write the book now because of the centenary of World War One next year.
He said: “A lot of people told me I should find out about these amazing photographs and if I was going to write about it now was the time.”
Mr Davidson gave up his job as a freelance journalist writing a weekly interview page for the Sunday Times to focus on writing ‘Fred’s War’, which took about a year to complete. He said: “My job had lead me to source and focus on a lot of detail, which helped me when writing ‘Fred’s War’.”
To write the book, Mr Davidson travelled to St Cyrus and Montrose. He said: “I had never been to where my grandfather was born, it was really important for me to see it.
“‘Fred’s War’ is not like any other history book, it is very readable and is about the people. It was very important to get across what these guys had gone through.
“My grandfather was shot during the war and I don’t know what happened to him exactly, but from doctors’ reports and what happened to others, I was able to bring my impression to expand on it.”
‘Fred’s War’ will be available from Henry Hogg Booksellers, on the High Street, this week. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/fredswar