A GIFT of £200 has been presented to Wallyford Community Council in memory of war hero Tom Davidson, who was decorated for service in the Arctic Convoy missions.

He died earlier this year at the age of 96 at Archview Lodge Care Home in Dalkeith, where, during the last five years, he was presented with both the Medal of Ushakov and Arctic Star for his part in the transport of crucial supplies to the Soviet Union between 1941 and 1945.

The bequest to Wallyford Community Council was made by his niece Isabel Savage, a former pupil of Wallyford Primary School, who lives in Prestonpans.

The community council is proposing, as Mr Davidson was a janitor at the former Wallyford Primary School on Salters Road, to use the money to install a seat or tree in the community garden at the new primary school which has opened at Futures Way.

Mr Davidson was born in Wallyford, one of a family of six, on April 27, 1922.

He went on to work at the brickworks in Prestonpans before he saw active service with the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

In November 1944, while HMS Searcher, the aircraft carrier on which he served, was berthed in the River Clyde, he was granted five days’ shore leave. During this time, he married his sweetheart Christina ‘Chrissie’, from Smeaton near Whitecraig, at Inveresk Manse.

After he was demobbed in 1946, Mr Davidson, who was living at St Clement’s Crescent in Wallyford, went to work at the Prestongrange pipeworks.

In the early 1970s, he became a janitor at Musselburgh Grammar School and then at Wallyford Primary School, where he was affectionately known as ‘Mr D’ by both staff and pupils.

Mr Davidson, who loved the outdoors, enjoyed birdwatching and walking his dog Major. A keen gardener, he continued this passion when he moved to Archview Lodge. He also loved listening to the radio, the music of Frank Sinatra and the pan pipes, and was a lifelong Hearts fan.

While he was in the care home, he received the Arctic Star, a military campaign medal for award to British Commonwealth forces who served on the Arctic Convoys, north of the Arctic Circle, during the Second World War.

He was also presented with the Medal of Ushakov by Andrey Pritsepov, the Russian Consul General in Edinburgh, for service in the missions. The military honour is given for courage and bravery displayed both in wartime and peacetime during the defence of the Soviet Union in naval theatres.

Mr Davidson was predeceased by his wife in 2012, a few years after they both moved into the care home. He passed away on February 8, 2019, at Archview Lodge. His funeral took place at St Clement’s Church, Wallyford, on February 19, led by Deacon Gordon Steven, followed by a private cremation attended by family members.

Alister Hadden, chairman of Wallyford Community Council, said: “This was a very generous gift and is just the kind of thing Tom would have wanted to do for Wallyford.

“He was Wallyford through and through, and never forgot his roots. This shone through so many times during his walk through life.”