David Robert Gerald Watts

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David Robert Gerald Watts
Watts David Robert.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth 31 Dec 1919
Place of Birth Boulder, Western Australia
Death 4 Oct 1943
Place of Death Scarlet Beach Finschhafen, New Guinea
Age at Enlistment 20 years, 11 months
Occupation Apprentice Upholsterer
Religion Congregational
Address Fifth road, Armadale, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Ellen King
Military Information
Reg Number WX9999
Date of Enlistment 13 Dec 1940
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion
Post War Details
Fate Wounded in action
Died of Wounds 4 Oct 1943
Monument(s) Armadale War Memorial
WA State War Memorial
Australian War Memorial Australian War Memorial
Medals 1939-45 Star
Africa Star
Pacific Star
Defence Medal
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

David enlisted in the 2nd AIF on 13 Dec 1940 and was with the No3. Depot Battalion until 14 Jan 1941 when he was transferred to the 13th Australian Infantry Training Battalion at Northam, earmarked as a reinforcement for the 2/4th Australian Machine Gun Battalion. A month later on 26 Apr 1941 this changed to the 8th Reinforcement draft for the 2/16th Australian infantry Battalion with him having been granted pre-embarkation leave from 24 - 30 Apr 1941. On 5 Jul 1941 David embarked on HMT Aquitania a part of Convoy US 11A. The Convoy remained in Fremantle for five days, eventually sailing on 9 Jul 1941 for Ceylon where the Aquitania berthed in Colombo before heading for Port Tewfik where the troops disembarked on 26 Jul 1941. On arrival, David was sent to the AIF (ME) Staging Camp before being posted to the 2/43rd Australian Infantry Battalion on 16 Sep 1941.

On 24 Jan 1943 the 2/43rd Battalion embarked on HMT Queen Mary for Fremantle, with the troops disembarking on 18 Feb 1943. Following leave, David entrained in Fremantle for South Australia on 30 Mar 1943. Prior to leaving he was charged with having been AWOL fro 1:00pm on 16 March until 8:30am on 17 Mar 1943. For this he was fined 10/- ($1), and the automatic forfeiture of a days pay. The battalion moved to North Queensland.

On 8 Aug 1943 they embarked in Cairns on HMAS Manoora for Milne Bay where they disembarked in the late afternoon of 10 Aug 1943. The next entry in David's records are that on 4 Oct 1943 David died from wounds received to his right chest - the date of wounding unknown. At the end of September the battalion had landed at Scarlet Beach near Finschhafen and were given the role of defending the beach head from the north. A Coy took casualties on the first day of October and regular contact with enemy forces continued such that by the end of 3 Oct 1943 the battalion had suffered 20 Killed, 5 Missing and 39 Wounded. David is buried in the Lae War Cemetery.

  • Lae War Cemetery
  • David's gravesite

Post War


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