The AIF Project

William Thornton WATSON

Regimental number4377
Date of birth10 November 1892
Place of birthNelson, New Zealand
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSalesman
Address17 Washington Valley, Nelson, New Zealand
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinFather, Robert Watson, 17 Washington Valley, Nelson, New Zealand
Enlistment date19 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentGunner
Unit nameField Artillery Brigade 1, Reinforcement 6
AWM Embarkation Roll number13/29/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 26 June 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll3rd Field Artillery Brigade
Promotions

2nd Lieutenant


Promotion date: 7 September 1917

Lieutenant


Promotion date: 7 December 1917

FateReturned to Australia 15 May 1919
Medals

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He displayed great gallantry and coolness in going to the assistance of wounded men, under heavy fire. He has set a splendid example throughout.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Foucoucourt, on 27th August, 1918, when he accompanied the attacking infantry as forward Observation Officer. The enemy offered strong resistance, frequently holding up the advance with machine gun fire. In one case, he worked his way forward several hundred yards in front of our outposts, directing the fire of three batteries, which gave great assistance to the infantry by barraging machine gun nests and strong posts. he showed fine courage and initiative throughout.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919

Bar to Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry at Nauroy, near Bellicourt, on the night of 2nd-3rd October, 1918. His battery was the centre of an enemy bombardment, which continued for over four hours. Though badly gassed himself, he tried to save the life of a wounded officer. He showed great energy and devotion to duty, and stayed with his battery until next day, when it was withdrawn from the line.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 10
Date: 29 January 1920

Discharge date15 February 1920
Other details

Medals: Military Cross & Bar, Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Captained AIF Rugby XV: King's Cup competition, United Kingdom, 1919; Australia, 1919; South Africa, 1919.

Also served in World War II in 2nd Garrison Bn from 4 March 1940 (appointed Temporary Captain, 15 June 1940); transferred to 1st Papuan Infantry Bn, 26 June 1940.

Print format