Clarence Victor Watson
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||unknown 1898|
|Place of Birth||Kalgoorlie, Western Australia|
|Death||13 Oct 1961, aged 63|
|Place of Death||Fremantle, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||18 years old|
5'10" (1.78m) tall ; 127 lbs|
57.606 kg; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; light brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Eighth avenue, Armadale, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Mother , Mrs Hannah Elizabeth Watson|
|Date of Enlistment||24 Feb 1916|
|Unit/Formation||44th Battalion, B Company, transferred to 51st Battalion / 13th Brigade, 4th Division|
|Date of Embarkation||6 Jun 1916 ‒ 26 Jul 1916|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A29 Suevic|
|Date of Return||15 Jan 1919 ‒ 20 Feb 1919|
|Ship Returned On||SS City of Exeter|
Wounded in Action 2 Apr 1917 at Noreuil |
Returned to Australia
Armadale War Memorial (West Armadale Panel) |
Armadale and Districts Roll of Honour
British War Medal |
Initially allocated on 3 Mar 1916 to B Company of the 44th Battalion in Claremont camp, he sailed with them to England. Records show that while he embarked on 31 May 1916, the ship didn't sail until 6 Jun 1916.
After completing his training in England with the 13th Training Battalion he proceeded to France on 8 Oct 1916, initially to reinforce the 11th Battalion, but on 20 Oct 1916 he was transferred to the 51st Battalion, joining their reserve group at Reninghelst 10 kms south west of Ypres.
Clarence served with the Lewis Gun Section of A Company. During the night of 1 Apr 1917, A, B, and D Companies of the 51st Battalion moved into position for an attack on Noreuil, with all in readiness by 3:40am on the 2nd.
From the description of the battle in the unit's War Diary, it is likely that Clarence's wound was caused during either the initial advance when 60 casualties were caused by enemy machine guns in the villages of Noreuil and Longatte, or later when the objective had been reached, but the Australians had then needed to retire under machine gun and rifle fire to positions more able to be held against counter attack.
Clarence's injury was a GSW to his left buttock. He was first treated by the 4th Australian Field Ambulance, before being admitted to the 11th Stationary Hospital in Rouen where he was assessed before returning to his unit via the 2nd Convalescent Depot. On 25 Apr 1917, Clarence rejoined his battalion and two months later on 28 Jun 1917 he was appointed Lance Corporal, and then on 20 Apr 1918 he was promoted to Corporal.
On 23 Aug 1917 he entered the 39th General Hospital in Le Havre with herpes, remaining with them until 16 Sep 1917, and then again between 14 and 26 Nov 1917 with orchitis. On 22 Apr 1918 Clarence was admitted to the 14th Australian Field Ambulance who passed him on to the 6th General Hospital in Rouen with an abscess on his jaw before being moved 26 Apr 1918 via HMHS Aberdonian to the Beaufort War Hospital in Bristol with an abscess on his right thigh.
Recovered, he was given leave from 21 May to 4 Jun 1918 in London, before reporting to No 1 Convalescent Depot in Sutton Veny. From 23 - 28 July 1918 and 26 Oct - 2 Nov 1918 he had two brief stays in the 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital at Bulford with VD that had resulted from leave taken in London. In between he received treatment at the Parkhouse CT Depot.
"... Went to the front in the 44th Battalion on the 6th June, 1916. Now serving with the Lewis Machine Gun section in the 51st battalion."
Casualty List 291 lists Clarence as Wounded
In 1932 Clarence married Winifred Mary Joslin in Fremantle. Winifred died 15 Aug 1997 aged 88 in Bentley.
Electoral Roll entries - 1921 - 1936 at 66 South street, grocer (with mother 1921 - 1931). Winifred lived at 30 South street, shop (?) at 66 South street. 1943 Clarence now shown at 30 South street; 1949 - 1972 only Winifred at 30 South street; 1977 - 1980 Winifred at 4/59 Waddell road, Bicton.
His father was William Harrington Edward Watson
- "The Drill of the Foot-Hills" (PDF) (1917). Western Australia. Mar 1917. p. 11. Retrieved 16 May 2017 – via State Library of Western Australia.
- "WESTERN AUSTRALIA.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,707). Western Australia. 4 May 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 25 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.