From Our Contribution
|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|
6'1½" (1.87m) tall ; 170lbs|
77.111 kg; fair complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||NOK Thompsons Brook, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Brother , Mr Horace Watts|
|Date of Enlistment||8 Sep 1914|
|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|
Jarrahdale War Memorial |
Jarrahdale Honour Roll
ANZAC Memorial Park (Byford)
Australian War Memorial
1914-15 Star |
British War Medal
Entered Blackboy Hill camp on 8 Sep 1914 and was allocated to B Company of the 16th Battalion. Following training in WA they went to Melbourne to train with the other elements of their 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 the "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 Caro. Here 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 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 Jun 1915 and even Aug 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:.
"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.
- "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Harold Watts". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.