Harold Watts

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Harold Watts
Personal Information
Date of Birth C1887
Place of Birth Bacchus Marsh, Victoria
Death 2 May 1915
Place of Death Gallipoli Peninsular, Turkey
Age at Enlistment 27 years, 8 months
Description 6'1½" (1.87m) tall ; 170lbs
77.111 kg
; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Sleeper hewer
Religion Church of England
Address NOK Thompsons Brook, Western Australia
Next of Kin Brother , Mr Horace Watts
Military Information
Reg Number 176
Date of Enlistment 8 Sep 1914
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, B Company / 4th Brigade, 1st Division
Date of Embarkation 22 Dec 1914
Ship Embarked On HMAT A40 Ceramic
Fate Killed in Action 2 May 1915, Baby 700, Gallipoli
Monument Jarrahdale War Memorial
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
Medals 1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

War Service

Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 8 Sep 1914 and was allocated to 'B' Company of the 16th Battalion. Following training in Western Australia they went to Melbourne to train with the other elements of the 4th Brigade. At Broadmeadows camp in Melbourne, Harold was AWOL from the 14th to the 18th December 1914. Fined 2/6 (25 cents) and loss of 5 days pay £1/5/- ($2.50). On 22 Dec 1914 the 16th Battalion boarded HMAT A40 Ceramic, sharing the trip with the 15th Battalion. After an uneventful voyage they arrived at Alexandria, Egypt on 1 Feb 1915. Following their disembarkation they travelled by train to Zeitoun, on the outskirts of Cairo. From there they marched to Heliopolis in the desert where they camped with the Light Horse and other units that were not part of the 1st Division.

The 16th Battalion travelled by train to Alexandria on 11 Apr 1915 where the majority, including 'B' Company, boarded HMT Haida Pascha (then designated as A28) for Lemnos which was reached early on 15 Apr 1915. The next three days were spent practicing landing from the ship. At around noon on 25 Apr 1915 HMT Haida Pascha weighed anchor for Gallipoli, arriving off Anzac Cove around 4:00pm, and the troops landed around 5:30pm and pushed inland to Pope's Hill where they began to dig in on the Australian's left flank. Over the next five days they alternated between fighting off Turkish attacks and digging themselves a better protective position. On the evening of 31 Apr 1915 the 15th Battalion replaced them and they withdrew to an area in one of the valleys labeled 'rest camp'. Here they remained until 2 May 1915. While in this area they lost 50 men to Turkish snipers. In the evening of 2 May 1915 the 16th Battalion was ordered to assault an area later known as The Bloody Angle.

Harold was initially thought to have been wounded, and officially notified as missing on 5 May 1915. Early reports back to Australian were that he was wounded, not seriously, and that relatives shouldn't be concerned if they heard nothing further. As late as June 1915 and even August 1915 the Army were still pushing the point that as nothing further was known, his family should assume that all was well. The Army regretted that it couldn't establish which hospital he was in. Early casualty levels at Gallipoli were more than either the medical or the HQ units could manage. It was not until after a Court of Enquiry held at Serapeum in Egypt on the 6th & from 8 - 28 Apr 1916, almost a year later, that he was declared to have been Killed in Action on 2 May 1915.

Ironically Harold had been promoted the morning of the day that he was killed.

Red Cross File:[1].

"Witness states that he knew a man called Watts in B Company, 16th Battalion. He went out with several others to charge a position at Dead Man's Ridge on 2 May 1915. We took the position, but the casualties were very heavy. As far as the witness knows, this man's body has not been found and witness does not think that he has been seen since." 78 Cpl Martin G.H. B Company 16th Battalion.
  • Quinn's Post Cemetery Gallipoli CWGC
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission


  1. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Harold Watts". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 

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