No. 11529, 1st Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)
Killed in action on Monday 12 April 1915 (aged 24)
No known grave
Ploegsteert Memorial, Belgium (Panel 9)
William Watson was born on 3 June 1890 in Craigavad, Holywood and he was a son of William and Catherine Watson (nee Thompson) who were married on 29 April 1886 in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip and St James). William Watson (aged 24) from Dunratho, Holywood was a son of William Watson. Catherine Thompson (aged 29) from Culloden House, Holywood was a daughter of George Thompson.
The Watson family lived in Craigavad and then in the townland of Creevyloughgare, Leggygowan, Saintfield. Later they lived at 3 Castle Street, Bangor.
William Watson Senior worked as a gardener and he and Catherine had five children:
Margaret Jane (born 10 March 1887 in Craigavad)
Martha (born 8 November 1888 at Dunratho, Cultra)
William (born 3 June 1890 in Craigavad)
Catherine (born 11 January 1892 in Craigavad)
Agnes (born 1 March 1895 in Craigavad)
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that William Watson (No. 11529) enlisted in Cavan.
Private William Watson served with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers and on 12 April 1915 he was killed in action near Messines when the Allied trenches were wrecked by enemy shellfire. It was in this action that Private Robert Morrow (No. 10531) from Newmills, Dungannon was awarded the Victoria Cross for pulling injured comrades from the debris of the wrecked trenches.
Private William Watson has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial in Belgium.
William Watson’s father died on 14 April 1926 (aged 64) and was buried in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.