CWG: Able Seaman George Watson

George Watson was born on 22nd October 1894 in the Scottish town of Tayport. His father was George Watson, and he had a sister called Annie, but there is little additional information available about his family.

When war broke out, George Jr joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and, during his time there, rose to the rank of Able Seaman. While his service records no longer exist, it’s clear that, by the summer of 1917, he was based at HMS Pembroke, the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent.

The base was particularly crowded at that point in the conflict, and George was billeted in overflow accommodation in the barracks’ Drill Hall.

On the night of the 3rd September 1917, the German Air Force carried out a night-time bombing raid on the town, scoring a direct hit on the Drill Hall. Able Seaman Watson was among those killed. He was just 22 years old.

George Watson was laid to rest, alongside the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid, in the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham. Annie was named as his next of kin, which suggests that their parents had, by that time, passed away.


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