The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

 
 
Gunner (Driver) (later Warrant Officer Class Two (possibly Lieutenant) MC) William Watson

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: William Henry Watson

Ancestor's date of birth: 26/04/1878

Ancestor's date of death: 1947

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

Service Number: 2957

Colony or State of enlistment: NSW, Place of Enlistment: Sydney

Unit: A Battery, Royal Astralian Artilliery

Rank attained in Boer War: GNR (Driver), Date Effective: On enlistment

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): WO2, Date Effective: 19/04/1916

Murray Page: 56

Contingent: Second New South Wales

Ship: Warrigal, Date of Sailing: 30/12/1899

Memorial details: RAA Museum Puckapunyal, VIC

Awards/Decorations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Transvaaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony and SA 1901 clasps. Coronation Medal 1902. 1914/15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal. Military Cross.

Personal Characteristics: Height: 171 cm, weight: 68.5 kg (1915), medium complexion, dark brown hair, blue eyes.

Reasons to go and fight: A member of the New South Wales Permanent Military Forces.

Details of service in the Boer War: February 1900 - August 1901 in Cape Colony and Transvaal.

Service and life after the Boer War: Returned to Australia: 15 September 1901 on the Harlech Castle. Was part of the coronation contingent sent for Edward VII in 1902. Married Emmaline, had children Dorothy, Betty, Phyllis, Winifred, Owen and lived at Oatley NSW. Served in the Militia. Joined 17 Bn AIF 19 May 1915 Service No. 1789. Landed Gallipoli 11 September 1915. Promoted sergeant 26 September 1915. In October - November 1915 spent time in hospital at Malta then the UK, then sent to the Battalion in France. Promoted warrant Officer Class two (Company Sergeant-Major) 19 April 1916. Wounded 25 April 1916. Awarded the Military Cross 17 July 1917. "He remained in his billet under heavy shell fire until all ranks of his company had been withdrawn to safety. He then entered a burning house for the company records, and, though a fragment of shell broke his leg, he succeeded in crawling away with the records." Commonwealth of Australia Gazette No 176, 30 November 1916. After the award of the MC (an award at that time second only to the VC, and usually only awarded to commissioned officers) William Watson could have been commissioned Lieutenant. During the war, the family moved to Fairfield NSW.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Eve Laural Skulander, Woy Woy NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand-daughter

Name of Descendant: Richard Perry Watson, Dora Creek NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Grandson

Name of Descendant: Terry Ross Watson, Dora Creek NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Great Grandson

 


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields