The AIF Project


Regimental number3508
Place of birthBendigo, Victoria
SchoolCamp Hill State School, Bendigo, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressBendigo, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 5"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, J Watterson, 157 McKenzie Street, Bendigo, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date7 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 11 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death38
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Margaret WATTERSON.
Family/military connectionsBrother: 1385 Pte William WATTERSON, 32nd Bn, killed in action, 20 July 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 6th Bn, Serapeum, 22 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 2 April 1916. Found guilty, 1 December 1916, of being absent without leave from 2115, 29 November 1916, to 1500, 30 November 1916: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No. 2; forfeited 2 days' pay.

On leave to United Kingdom, 18 July 1917; returned from leave, 31 July 1917.

Listed as missing in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917; subsequently confirmed killed in action. Statement by 3255 Pte G. BRINKLEY, 6th Bn, 6 August 1918: 'No 3508 Pte S Watterson had been my friend since January 1916 and we had been together up to the end of September 1916, when he went into the trenches and I was left in reserves. When we relieved about the end of October word was brought to me that Pte Watterson was in the Lewis Gun team and that during the bombardment a shell had blown the gun position out and that Pte Watterson had not been [seen] since.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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