John Irvine Davidson
Plot V, Lot 126
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto
Born in Scotland on November 17, 1854, Davidson came to Toronto as a young man and established himself in the wholesale grocery business with John Hay. Their enterprise was known as Davidson and Hay. He held various business directorships and participated in the community’s military life, first as a second lieutenant in the Royal Grenadiers retiring from that organisation with the rank of captain in 1890. In October of the following year, the 48th Regiment (Highlanders) was formed and Davidson selected as its first commanding officer. In tribute to Davidson, the new regiment agreed to adopt both the Davidson tartan and family crest which continue to be revered by members of the 48th Highlanders to this day. Davidson remained the unit’s commanding officer until March 16, 1898 when he stepped down.
He remained active in both his business and military endeavours until he took ill in the spring of 1909. On April 28, 1910 the 66-year-old Davidson succumbed to cancer at his residence, 158 St. George Street and was given a full military burial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery on April 30th, following a brief service at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on King Street West.
It was recorded in the daily newspapers that the funeral cortège, complete with gun carriage and full representation by members of the city’s various military units, was one of the largest in Toronto history. A beautiful memorial to those members of the 48th Highlanders who gave their lives to keep our country free was originally erected near the Davidson plot. It was moved in 1969 to a more conspicuous location just inside the cemetery gates on the east side of Mount Pleasant Road.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded