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Chris_Baker

'Chemical Corporal' Davies-Watkins

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Chris_Baker

This is a long shot in the hope that someone may have come across this gentleman before. Pals may recall that I did some research work for the BBC for the "Great War interviews" programme that was shown earlier this year. They are now looking at the other veterans that were interviewed in the 1960s and have asked about this chap. He gives himself as G. Davies-Watkins and his audio tape transcript describes him as a 'Chemical Corporal', which I take to be one of the men recruited into the Royal Engineers' Special Companies.

But a quick look for medal and service records brings up nothing definite. There is a man shown only as an RE Pioneer under the name George D Watkins.

I have no idea if this was his only regiment, or if he went on to be commissioned etc.

To short cut what could be a long research job, if anyone knows any more about this man I would be grateful to learn of it.

I have found by Googling some interesting-looking references to a man who later got an MSc and gave a paper at an NUT conference, but whether this is the same man I don't know.

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Guest

The British Newspaper Archive has a few references to a Mr G Davies Watkins, M.S.C., Dip.Ed. (Oxon) appointed as headmaster of the Birkdale Central School, Southport. Maybe same man as you googled?

Mike

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Chris_Baker

Quite probably, Mike. But is he the soldier? He's an unusually elusive chap!

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Guest

I take it the audio tape at the IWM is the same one you have listened to?

Good luck with search.

Mike

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Gareth Davies

I would be very sceptical of anyone called G Davies even if they add another name to try and hide behind!

A quick scan of Chemical Soldiers by Richter doesn't reveal any mention of him. Are there any other histories of the Special Companies?

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EastSurrey

Chris, Richter p.26 ( his source- R.F.Dalton Special Brigade Newsletter 44 (11/1978) 9 ),says that the 'men' were all given Corporal rank, but in 1916,one (unnamed) was busted down, as a disciplinary measure , to become the first Pioneer in the Special Companies.

Michael

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