Lance Corporal William Watson
8 September 1916
Lance Corporal W M Watson s/no 3/8662 1st Battalion age 27
buried Salonika (Lembet Road) Cemetery plot 376
There are differences in the information that can be found for Lance Corporal Watson.
CWGC shows him as ‘W M Watson’ with service number 3/8662, son of Thomas Jeffrey and Alice Elizabeth Watson of High Street, Barrow, who died aged 27. However the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects shows him as William George Watson, service number 3/8622, son of Thomas G Watson, who died at No 29 Stationary Hospital. There is a website devoted to War Memorials and the entries for Barrow note the differences.
The census shows there are 2 William Watsons living in Barrow in 1911. Both were born in Barrow. William George is the son of Jeffrey and Alice and was born in 1894, making him 22 in 1916. And William Albert is the son of Albert and Eliza and was born in 1890 which would make him about 27 in 1916. The fathers were a farm labourer and a railway labourer and, strangely, both Mrs Watson are shown as ‘tailoress’. Perhaps the proximity of Bury St Edmunds supported at least two tailoresses in one village.
Family history research is full of problems like this. Our intrepid researcher Carol is inclined to believe he was William George, born 1894, son of Thomas Jeffrey and Alice Elizabeth. She would not be surprised if CWGC made errors when there were so many to list, and for whom to make headstones, in a short space of time.
According to the Soldiers’ Effects, Lance Corporal Watson died in no 29 Stationary Hospital and according to CWGC he died of dysentery. There were a number of fairly permanent hospitals set up in the area around Salonika (now Thessaloniki). These were for the more serious wounds and illnesses – far enough away from the fighting for the medical staff to work unimpeded. The presence of these hospitals explains the number of large cemeteries close to, and in some cases now included within, Thessaloniki.