3746/201062 Private WILLIAM WATSON.

4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.

Killed in action, aged 27, on the 15th September 1916.

Born in Skelton in Cleveland. Enlisted at Northallerton, N Yorks.

Son of George and Elizabeth Watson of 38 Back Lane, Skelton in Cleveland, N Yorkshire.

Thiepval Memorial.

He was the brother of my maternal Grandmother.
1901. William, aged 12, was living at 38 Back Lane and had been born in Skelton.
His father, George, aged 52, was an Under-manager at Park Pit. He had been born at Philadelphia, Co Durham.
[website owner's Great Grandfather.]
His mother, Elizabeth {nee Varty], aged 51, had been born at Wylam, Northumberland. She has had 14 children and only 9 are still living. She was the sister of Tommy Varty J.P. and the Manager of Park Pit.
The family first lived at Shaft Cottages when they first came to Skelton for work at Shaft Pit.
William had three sisters still at home, Elizabeth, "Lily" 23, Esther 17 and Dora 14.
In January 1917 Elizabeth [my Grandmother] was to lose her husband Cpl Herbert Cook, who died of wounds in the same Somme area.
In 1940 Dora was to lose her own 18 year old son, Harold Smith, at Dunkirk.
Will Watson also had 3 brothers at home, Armstrong 22, an Engine fitter, George, an Ironstone Clerk and Thomas aged 10.

1911. The family are still at 38, now called Park Road. William is a "Stower" underground in the Mine.
Dora is a clerk for Skelton Co-op, Thomas is an Electrician.
One of the older sisters, Isabella Lamb, has lost her husband and she and her 2 children, George and Gladys, live with the family.

The 4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment were part of the 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
His Medal Card shows that he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star and therefore did not join the 4th Yorks Battalion in France until 1916.
At the time of Will Watson's death the Battalion were attacking the German trenches to the North East of Martinpuich in the Battle of Flers-Courcelettes, which was part of the continuing Battle of the Somme.
Many Battalion men were killed and wounded.
William was reported Missing and the family never found out what happened to him. Full details based on the Battalion Diary can be read starting here.
The Thiepval Memorial commemorates more than 72,000 missing men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died on the Somme battlefields before 20th March 1918 and have no known grave.
Most were killed between July and November 1916.

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