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Remembered Today:

Alec Watson - Cameron Highlanders. Wounded in Battle of Loos.


monkstown
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Apologies - it is so long (not by choice)  since I have been on this forum that I have forgotten how to negotiate it! Would anyone have information on:

Alec Watson - Cameron Highlanders. Wounded in Battle of Loos. Patient in Whitworth Stn Sept 1915 - July 1916

 

I wonder if 'Whitworth Stn' is a typo for Whitworth St as the war poet WM Letts was a VAD in the 2nd Western General Hospital (which was established in Manchester where its HQ was Central High School for Boys, Whitworth Street).

 

Unfortunately, that's all the information I have about Alec Watson.

 

Thanks very much.

Edited by monkstown
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7 minutes ago, monkstown said:

Apologies - it is so long (not by choice)  since I have been on this forum that I have forgotten how to negotiate it! Would anyone have information on:

Alec Watson - Cameron Highlanders. Wounded in Battle of Loos. Patient in Whitworth Stn Sept 1915 - July 1916

Welcome back!

Do you please have an OR number?

Or an officers rank?

:-) M

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At WFA/Fold3 there are pension records for an Alec WATSON, 53902 Lancashire Fusiliers - Mother: Mrs Jessie Watson, 3 Cumberland St, Lower Broughton, Manchester

???

:-) M

 

Edit: The above had a brother Harold WATSON, 442329, RE

Any help?

Edited by Matlock1418
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At WFA/Fold3 there is a disability pension record for an: Alexander May WATSON, Cameron Highlanders [also Labour Corps 479917] and an address: C/o 11 Annfield Rd, Dundee

???

:-) M

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Unfortunately, I do not have any information other than this line:

Alec Watson - Cameron Highlanders. Wounded in Battle of Loos. Patient in Whitworth Stn Sept 1915 - July 1916

 

I have seen references to various Alec Watsons but not to one in Cameron Highlanders. But now Matlock has seen one - many thanks! I will have a look at this...

Edited by monkstown
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There's two A Watson's of Cameron Highlanders on casualty lists. Almost same date - #13022 21/10/1915 & L/Cpl. #16936 22/10/1915. Both would fit with Loos.

 

13022 was wounded again around July/Aug 1916 and was listed missing Oct 1917.

 

16936 has a SWB.

TEW

 

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There is also a MIC for a:

Alexander WATSON, S/16936, 1/ Cameron Highlanders

France 11.5.15 - so a trio as you would expect if had been at Loos in 1915

But also a Silver War Badge, Dis.

And an address in 8/5/1943 - Edenridge Gdns, RR No. 2, Woodstock, Ontario, Canada

All of which potentially seems worth following up I reckon.

:-) M

 

Edit: TEW - we cross with 16936

Edited by Matlock1418
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An amazing amount of help in such a short time! Many thanks!

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WATSON, Alexander 16936 has two pension cards at WFA/Fold3

Born: 1892

Discharged: 5-7-16

Disability: GSW L Knee

Address: 12 Armour Terrace, Darvel, Ayreshire

Any of that ringing any bells?

:-) M

 

Edit:

The ledger card show he has a Treatment File opened 13/9/23 and plenty of admin annotations to 1/3/26

The card shows has a references Reg 1 Scotland], Reg 6 (OS/M) US 10/10/29 [transferred to the Overseas Military Pension section 10/10/29 - US I think]

Edited by Matlock1418
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Unfortunately, I genuinely have only that one line, which was handwritten in a note by a lady who nursed in Manchester.

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I can't help with Mr Watson though you may well be correct with the Whitworth Stn being the 2nd Western General on Whitworth St. As I understand it the Central HIgh School building had only just been completed when the requirement for military hospital beds began to soar. As such the new school didn't accept pupils until its use as a military hospital declined to the point that 5/6 yrs after its completion it finally accepted pupils. On one of my grandads service record it states that he had his prosthetic leg "successfully fitted" at the 2 W.G.H. on the 1/7/18, two years to the day since going over at Mametz and 8 months after his injury during 3rd Ypres (Broodseinde) The thing I wouldn't be certain about (if indeed Whitworth Stn is actually 2nd WGH) is that with all the General Hospitals, they operated many satellite sites, often it seems  in primary schools though under the umbrella of the main site,  this I believe would make it difficult to pinpoint which precise site he was treated at. Incidentally the 2nd WGH became my dads school in the '30's, and the Acacias primary school (Levenshulme) where my Mother went to school was one of the satellite hospitals under the 2nd WGH. Hope this adds something though I'm not sure what.

 

Simon

Edited by mancpal
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20 minutes ago, mancpal said:

On one of my grandads service record it states that he had his prosthetic leg "successfully fitted" at the 2 W.G.H. on the 1/7/18,

Speculating of course - if he had then gone on to Broughton House [one of the East Lancashire Homes for Disabled Sailors & Soldiers] over the next 15 years or so he might have been treated by my GGF who did therapeutic massage & such treatments on wounded, men including amputees.

Broughton House [now classed as being in Salford I think] remains a residential care home for ex-service personnel - undergoing a big expansion, with more planned for a veteran care village - financial donations to them are always welcomed. https://www.broughtonhouse.com

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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I do know Broughton House from my time living much less than a mile from it for a number of years. I visited on a number of occasions and in the late '80's/early '90's housed a number of men from a number of conflicts beginning with WW1 and then of course more recent conflicts such as Northern Ireland. You are correct in that Broughton House is in Salford. I have no reason to believe my Grandad was ever treated there though doubtless hundreds if not thousands of others were.

 

Simon

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Thanks so much for all the help - Matlock, where did you find the Ontario address? I have the MIC and the pension record but I can't see a Canadian address. However, I am not very experienced in these searches.

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22 minutes ago, monkstown said:

Matlock, where did you find the Ontario address? I have the MIC

It's on the reverse of the MIC - the colour one from Ancestry/Fold3 [see below] - not visible on the b/w one from TNA

1351906862_WatsonA.jpg.00dec6eeb1bfd770da16cff15dbc8a64.jpg

Image courtesy of Ancestry/Fold3

:-) M

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Ah, thank you very much, Matlock

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  • 7 months later...

I note now that the Medal Index Card for Alexander Watson (16936) gives his Rank as Pte (Private, I presume) but an image I have from Ancestry re UK WW1 pensions gives his rank as LCpl.   Can that be correct (I know very little of army promotion structures)?

Thanks

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Lance Corporal was an appointment, not a rank, as I understand it. Others like @FROGSMILE can explain it much better than I can.

Michelle 

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1 hour ago, monkstown said:

I note now that the Medal Index Card for Alexander Watson (16936) gives his Rank as Pte (Private, I presume) but an image I have from Ancestry re UK WW1 pensions gives his rank as LCpl.   Can that be correct (I know very little of army promotion structures)?

Thanks

During WW1 the cavalry, infantry, and ASC had only one “substantive” (paid and pension earning) rank between Private and Sergeant and that was Corporal (2-stripes).  However, to manage the churn between those ranks (leave, sickness, men on training courses, casualties, the misemployed, unfilled vacancies, etc.) there had long been a protocol to have unpaid positions in between that were in effect probationary opportunities to prove potential.  These were Lance Corporal (between Private and Corporal) and Lance Sergeant (between Corporal and Sergeant).  As they were unpaid and carried no long term (pension earning) status they were not substantive ranks and so referred to instead as “appointments”.  They were very flexible and in the gift of the officers commanding battalions.  Some might be given very temporarily for a specific task, and others more long lasting.  The hope of the recipients, who generally held the substantive rank immediately beneath their appointment, was that they would do well enough to receive the promotion permanently (substantively) once there was a vacancy on the unit’s laid down and funded establishment.  In several cases the system was used to provide such functionaries as the Officers’ Mess Sergeant and the Provost Sergeant, both of whom were substantive sergeants taken from their companies and backfilled with Lance Sergeants.  Those are just two examples.  Although the vast majority of these “appointments” were unpaid, the officers commanding battalions were granted (allocated) a set number of paid appointments so that those Lance appointments in the most critical roles could be financially rewarded, although this did not change their status in other ways and they were still not pension earning.  Nonetheless it enabled a more flexible and fairer management system for those most deserving.

NB.  All this means that on formal records, although a man might be holding an superior appointment, the rank shown will only be that which he held substantively.  Other, more technical arms, such as the artillery, engineers and some service support corps, did have an extra substantive rank between their Private equivalent and Corporal and in those circumstances they still had unpaid appointments beneath their substantive ranks, but generally making use of different titles (e.g. Bombardier, Second Corporal and “Acting” (non substantive) equivalents). This system was used throughout the Imperial and Dominion forces, all of which followed common standards with only very minor differences.  This was to ensure common understanding and interoperability.

Edited by FROGSMILE
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Thank you so much, Michelle and Frogsmile.

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  • 5 months later...

I have come across two further references to Alec Watson - Letts wrote to her mother in May 1916 that he seemed to be 'much the better for his operation'  they hoped that he wouldn't lose that leg after all. 

In December 1916, Letts's elder sister, Mary, spent a day in Manchester and visited Alec who was then at 'a Convalescent in Crumpsall; found him a fine austere looking young Scotchman, with plenty of humour and patience.'

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