This page is dedicated to the memory of:
Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines
P037269B Lance Corporal Colin Davison Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines 9 October 1960 27 May 1982 Age 21
Colin Davison was born on 9 October 1960 in Newcastle Upon Tyne. His parents William Davison and Sheila Hassan had married in 1952 and Colin was their youngest child and only son. Colin had two older sisters Catherine and Maureen.
During the Falklands War Colin known as ‘Geordie’ to his mates was in the Commando Logistic Regiment of the Royal Marines. Colin was from Garth Nine, Killingworth. He was killed on 27 May 1982 during an enemy bombing attack whilst on operations at Ajax Bay, Falkland Islands. Colin was just 21 years old.
On 18 October 1982 there were 10,000 daffodils planted in the grass on the South side of Killingworth Lake. A plaque on a stone plinth was erected and unveiled by the Mayor of North Tyneside Councillor Mrs Doreen Warner it read ‘In Memory of Colin Davison Royal Marines Killed in Action San Carlos Bay Falkland Islands 27 May 1982’ unfortunately over time the plinth was vandalised and so moved.
The site for the memorial was chosen as Colin liked to fish in the lake. There is a copy of the service at St Johns Church.
In 2005 his family rededicated the plaque at the Jigsaw Memorial at the White Swan Centre in Killingworth. The plaque reads:
‘In Memory of Colin Davison Royal Marines Killed in Action San Carlos Bay Falkland Islands May 27 1982. “When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils: Beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze” (William Wordsworth 1807)
We thank you for your service! RIP
The first time I saw Colin was in Plymouth when he arrived outside the door of the flat where I was staying, on a motorbike, along with his best mate, Ronnie Dunnett. I laugh to think of it now as Colin had broken his arm, and Ronnie had broken his leg. Here they were trying the ride the motorbike safely and aiming to move into a new house the next day. I was seeing someone else at the time but Colin made such an impression on me that I pretended not to be in when the other bloke came round so that I could go out with Colin later.
I was in Plymouth on holiday but very soon I was down every weekend from London where I was working as a nanny at the time. Colin and I spent as much time together as we could and one of the first places we went to was the Plume and Feathers pub in the middle of Dartmoor to see Porridge. It was one of many happy trips to Princetown and to many other places. As our relationship progressed we decided to get engaged and set a date for our wedding in Easter 83, little did I know that we would not make that date. I moved down to Plymouth and we moved in to a flat together which was supposed to be the beginning of our lives together. When I came out from work one day, Colin said that we would not be able to go on the holiday to Scotland that we had arranged as he was being sent to the Falkland Island, the Argentinians had invaded. I had never heard of the place so did not worry unduly. As the days progress it became obvious that things were worse than first thought and that the lads would probably end up fighting though everyone hoped that that would not be the case. The weekend Colin went away was one of the worst of my life and I remember waving him off as he pulled away on his bike in his camouflage gear. I was devastated and spent the rest of the day in dis-belief, only for Colin to come back that night, they were not leaving until the following morning. We then went through it all again and I told him that if the same thing happened he was not to come back.
All I could think about over the next few days was Colin’s lovely smile and his twinkling eyes as he raised his hand to wave goodbye and how much I loved him. I was nothing without him but knew that this would not be the only time we would be apart as the Marines were his world. Day after day I watched the news reports become worse and worse and my anger towards the powers that be increased. How could they risk the lives of those men because of one small island thousands of miles away that most of us had never heard of?
I changed jobs and one morning was writing Colin a letter in the staff room and turned to my friend and said I don’t even know if Colin is alive, I can’t carry on. To reassure myself and the network of friends that I had I phoned the Marines helpline to be told that everyone (in our gang) was OK, I still could not settle especially as I had received a phone call from my mum to say that she was coming to Plymouth straight away. When asked she assured me that Colin was OK.
Later I phoned back to be told very bluntly on the phone that Colin had been killed the night before during an attack on the Field Hospital. I believe that was the wrong way to do it and have never forgotten the girl’s voice.
My life had finished within a couple of seconds and I remember screaming and falling to the floor. Sitting here now I can still remember the shock those words instilled in me and yet remembering his smile, how he said my name and his twinkling eyes has not diminished. I loved him then and I love him still after all these years.
I could go on for ages remembering the good times, and the bad times. The cornflakes with warm milk he made me every morning, the bar of Toblerone that became a weekend ritual. Me returning home from work to find Colin fast asleep on the bed after a session with the boys, us watching A Question of Sport, Colin supporting Bill Beaumont and me on Emlyn Hughes side. How he made me laugh, The list is endless.
Colin was and still is the love of my life and despite moving on and having a beautiful daughter and a wonderful family around me, my thoughts are never very far away from my Geordie Lad.
I went to the Falklands to see his grave and put a poem from his friend Robbie Pearce and his lucky mascot in the soil in front of his headstone.
I remember kneeling at his grave asking him over and over again why it had to be him. I never received an answer. I would like to offer a piece of Khalil Gibran, The Prophet to the memory of Colin.
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.”
Colin Davison was my closest buddy in the Corps at the time of his death. I have a wealth of memories – some good, some bad of our times in 45 Cdo together. I was with him when he was killed, and I attempted in vain to treat his wounds; this was my first experience of death and truly my saddest. I have since seen much violence, and death in combat situations, but this action changed my life beyond comprehension.
Some things to remember:
Colin was a Lance Corporal, which he was very proud to be.
‘George’ (Colin) was a Geordie lad with all the humour that this culture of Englishmen inherit at birth. He was as wild at heart as you would expect a young fit bootneck to be. Often in pub brawls, usually at his own initiation and which he usually won, (nothing to be proud of!) he moved from Arbroath to Plymouth in 1973. This was mainly to do with his frustration and need to move on. He had big plans in the Corps and he was fully intending to spend his full 22 year career in the Royal Marines. He often forced his point of view on me about promotion and the need to gain rank as he wanted to be a Sergeant Major. I usually laughed at him, but he was extremely proud of how much he could drink and still run like an athlete.
George was engaged to Sally shortly before departing Down South; he moved out of our shared flat in Plymouth to be with his girl and to begin a new, grown-up life. Sadly those dreams were torn apart by a bomb into Ajax Bay on 27 May 1982. I watched the life drain out of him as I desperately tried to tend to his wounds; a few people ran past our sangar and looked in horror as they saw the desperate state we were in. Curly Burnet was wounded in several places, Gerry Watt was very badly wounded with a semi-amputated leg; Danny Mudge was in total shock as he had lost his arm, and Sy Cragg was wounded badly in both hands.
I was scratched but in reality unscathed. I helped as much as I could to treat everyone in those horror-filled moments. A young matelot – from Med Squadron I think – and who I will always be indebted to, crawled into our sangar and began treating everyone as best he could. He was the one who uttered the words: “Leave him mate, he’s gone!” I could not comprehend the situation but obeyed and went on to treat the rest of the wounded…
I will never forget my wild, wild mate and I feel he has given me more in humanity than I ever gave him in friendship. George actually said while we sat in the trench waiting for an attack that he didn’t feel he was coming back from this one. But he added that I could have all his Arctic socks!! I never took the socks. I still miss him stacks.
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