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Remembered Today:

Royal Sussex Regiment JHC Watson


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I was initially only trying to indicate why there is an Ernest Watson commemorated on both Brede & Sedlescombe memorials---because he and father Nathan were both gamekeepers there in 1911 census (pre-, not post-war). Ernest would have lived there for at least 5 yrs before being killed in 1916, so was well-known in the area, so goes on the memorials. They are recorded as still in East Suffolk (Rushmere St. Andrew) in 1901 census.

Mystery # 2----is the Nathan=Mary Ann & Ernest family related to the Joseph H.C. Watson family ? I only have the common on-line genealogy tools, so probably cannot find more than you have already found.



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  • 3 weeks later...


I have had no luck in finding a link;

I have a subscription to the newspaper archive now, but it is difficult searching, due to the results not matching up with the words on the page if that makes sense.

If JHC Watson was wounded at the Battle of Boars Head, what sort of time could he have appeared as wounded in the local papers?

Looking forward to my weekend in Richebourg now! Hopefully can find out some more about the battle.

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Sadly getting down to ESRO has alluded me too Geoff, and I doubt I'll get down for a month now :unsure:

However, I did copy some of the wounded lists in the Sussex Express for Jul - Oct 1916, I'll see if any of those give an indication of when the wounded from Boar's Head were quoted. But generally I think it was about three weeks after (for ORs) on average, if that gets the ball rolling for you ...

Get back to you as soon as I can


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What I have found that may interest you, is a little piece in the local paper about Ernest Watson, dated 1908. He and his Dad stopped some poachers on their land in Powder Mills, Sedlescombe. I will send it on over, I think it gives a little bit more of a story behind Ernest Watson.


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  • 3 months later...

Hi Geoff,

Did we talk once before?

Joseph Henry Cook Watson is the husband of grand aunt.

You mention cricket in your first post here;

Sir Donald George Bradman (Is my 3rd cousin 2x removed)

I belive we have cricket in our blood.

Perhaps if they are in hospital for a certain period of time they get stuck off the army list. Then have to re-enlist. Could be worth looking into?

Thought I would just add my notes:

Birth Name. Married Surname if Applicable. Also known as. Joseph Henry Cook Watson M.M .

Born. Jan-Feb-Mar 1893

Location. Brede

Registered in District of. Rye

BDM Registry Entry Located. Found

Birth Notes.



Christening Notes.

Marriage. Jul-Aug-Sep 1919


Spouse. Ida Martha D Dann


Location. Battle, Sussex, England

Registered in District of. Battle

BDM Registry Entry Located. Found

Marriage Notes.

Marriage. Apr-May-Jun 1928


Spouse. Edith Ellen Monk


Location. Battle, Sussex, England

Registered in District of. Battle

BDM Registry Entry Located. Found

Marriage Notes.

Died. Jan-Feb-Mar 1967 Joseph H C Watson Year info 1967 city Kent. This Info is from Ancestry Kent, Tonbridge from FindMyPast

Age. 74

Location. Kent

Registered in District of. Tonbridge

BDM Registry Entry Located.

Death Notes.



Children List Below. Date of Birth/Death List Below.

Parents’ Names & Dates.

Notable events in his/her life were.

Joseph Henry Cook Watson M.M. of Brede, Sussex, enlisted 10th December 1914 into 13th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment. Service numbers SD/3041 and later G/6601.

A bit of guesswork: The large list of awards to the 2nd Battalion in that Gazette may mean that the award was part of a major attack by the battalion. I do some research on the Northamptonshire Regiment. The 1st Northamptons were in the same Division and received a long list of M.M.s in the same Gazette. Those that I have dated from that Gazette date from the attacks made by 1st Division around the 24th September 1918 near Pontruet (the Northamptons were on the left side of the attack on a spur of high ground near Pontruet with the 2nd Royal Sussex on the right).

24th September 1918 The village of Pontruet.

Through September the Allies fought their way towards the heavily fortified town of St Quentin. North of the St Quentin-Amiens road the attack was pushed forward village by village. With zero hour at 05.00hrs the 2nd battalion the Royal Sussex attacked from close to the village of Pontru toward Ponruet with their objective being the road lying just beyond that village to the east.

As usual at this stage of the war a creeping barrage preceded them. Heavy machine gun fire from defences in Pontruet caused many casualties; towards noon an enemy counter attack was repulsed and although more casualties were received, many prisoners were also taken. The next day another enemy counter attack was repulsed and the Germans then withdrew to the nearby Hindenburg Line itself.

By the 28th the Royal Sussex had reached their objective east of the village. On the 29th of September the Allies launched a successful attack on the Hindenburg Line penetrating beyond it by 5 miles. It was clear that the end of the war was close.

He was discharged on 8th April 1819 due to his wounds, and both Medal rolls say, "M.M.,” and shows aged 26 years and 3 months.

Occupation Notes.


Census pages found & Live Events Listed in Order.

1901 Census: Census Status/Location:

Joseph Watson, "England and Wales Census, 1901"


Joseph Watson

Event Type:


Event Date:

31 Mar 1901





Relationship to Head of Household:



Brede, Sussex

Schedule Type:


Registration District:




Ecclesiastical Parish:

Brede St George

Civil Parish:




1911 Census: Census Status/Location:


1911 Census for England & Wales

Collections from

Great Britain







Birth Year




Registration District


Registration District Number


SubDistrict Number


Where Born


1911 Census Summary Book

14th May 1919

War Office, 14th May, 1919. His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the undermentioned Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men : ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT. G/6601 Sjt. Watson, J. H. C. , 2nd Bn. (Brede).

The announcement of the award was in the Supplement to the London Gazette of 14th May 1919. Document is in this folder.

16 May, 1919

Supplement to the Edinburgh Gazette, May 16, 1919. Document is in this folder.

Information Sources List Excluding Census & BDM.

Research ideas & notes:

Need to look for the war diary for the 2ND Batt Royal Sussex Reg

There are two cards at The National Archives. One will be the same as that on ancestry; the other is the Military Medal card, where his name is spelled in full as Joseph Henry Cook Watson. That should tell you whether he is your man or not.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Dave,

I think we have. I am still awaiting my aunts to sort out some photos of your great Aunt. I had seen them in my Grandmas collection before she passed away.

I do have some photos of where he fought in 1916, the Battle of Boars head. I can send them over.

I am still trying to find out how he won the MM, I think it will be one of those things that I may never find out.

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  • 3 years later...

I might bump this again. 


Still searching out how he won the MM. None the wiser, despite going through all the resources I can think of. It has been infuriating to say the least. 

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