The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private (Later Lieutenant) Henry Watts

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Henry William Watts

Ancestor's date of birth: 08/04/1880

Ancestor's date of death: 22/04/1954

Cause of Death: Blood clot to heart after surgery

Service and Life Before the Boer War: He was born in Harlow Essex UK.

Service Number: 14105

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Australia, Place of Enlistment: Gosport UK

Unit: Royal Army Medical Corps (medical orderly)

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: 01/11/1899

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): LT, Date Effective: 09/06/1941

Murray Page: Not applicable, did not serve in an Australian unit.

Contingent: Not applicable

Ship: Travelled to South Africa from the UK

Other Boer War Service: Enlisted in the South African Constabulary (SAC)25-10-1901 as Private H1019.

Memorial details: Detail not provided

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen and King's South Africa Medals with clasps, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Imperial Service Medal, British War Medal (WW2), Australian Service Medal.

Personal Characteristics: A very humble man, fiercely loyal and patriotic and dedicated to service

Reasons to go and fight: Fiercely dedicated to service.

Details of service in war: Each brigade of infantry or cavalry upon a war footing has attached to it a medical section, comprising generally three officers and about fifty-seven men, with fifteen various vehicles, of which ten were hospital wagons. In Battle, the wounded were conveyed to the dressing stations by the ambulances and ambulance men. After receiving treatment they were either returned to their unit or referred to a field hospital for more care. Each division had its own field hospital. An army corps had 10 field hospitals, each with a capacity of 100 men. The personnel of the field hospital consists of five officers, a warrant officer, and thirty-four non-commissioned officers and men, with six horses, and a number of vehicles for provisions, water, medical stores, equipment, and reserve rations. The wounded were retained in the field hospitals and their injuries attended to until they can be transported to the hospitals upon the lines of communication or at the base. The reality of war often meant the provision for the sick and wounded was inadequate. For example, at Modder River, a capacity of two field hospitals had to deal with 800 patients. In addition to their medical duties, the RAMC had responsibility for hygiene, sanitation and water supplies etc.

Service and life after the Boer War: After the war he remained on as a constable in the SAC until 9-7-1908 when he migrated to Australia. He joined the NSW Police as constable 8890 on 16-10-1908. He lived in Haberfield, NSW. On 17-3-1915 he enlisted in the AIF and served with 3AGH and 8th Field Ambulance at Gallipoli and Lemnos followed by service in France and the UK. Promoted Cpl 12-2-1916 and Sgt 25-9-1916. After WW1 he returned to the Police Department and was appointed Sgt Wollondilly Shire 15-7-1935 retiring 8-4-1940 and being presented with the Imperial Service Medal (ISM) for his Police work. He was recalled to active military duty 9-6-1941 as N271997 Lt in the Intelligence Corps and served until discharge on 17-5-1944

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Janice de Vallence, Telopea NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand daughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields