Watson, Thomas Henderson (No. 636354)

Watson, Thomas Henderson

Leading Aircraftman

No. 636354, 231 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Died as the result of an accident on Wednesday 11 December 1940 (aged 19)

Buried:

Cadder Cemetery, Lanarkshire, Scotland (Section C. Grave 127)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

BIOGRAPHY

The death of Leading Aircraftman Thomas Henderson Watson (No. 636354) of Maryhill, Glasgow was reported in the 14 December 1940 edition of the County Down Spectator under the headline:

Newtownards Inquest

Poignant Shooting Fatality

Verdict of Accidental Death

An inquest held in the Ards District Hospital heard that, when Leading Aircraftman Watson was admitted between 1.30 am and 2.00 am on 11 December 1940, he was already dead.

Aircraftman E.H. Evans gave evidence at the inquest.  He said that, upon taking up guard, he was handed a rifle but did not notice the position of the safety catch or ascertain what ammunition the rifle contained.  Upon coming off guard he went to waken Watson.  He had the rifle on his shoulder but had to take it down to enter the tent.  He put it under his right arm and, with his left hand, shook Watson to waken him.  The rifle went off.  What caused it to go off he did not know.  He saw that the deceased had been wounded and rushed off to inform the orderly officer.  A verdict of death from gunshot wounds caused by the accidental discharge of a rifle was returned.

Leading Aircraftman Thomas Henderson Watson (No. 636354) was 19 when he died, and he was buried in Cadder Cemetery, Lanarkshire.

Thomas Henderson Watson was born at 6.45 am on 9 August 1921 at 30 Hill Street, Glasgow.  He was a son of John and Jeanie Wright Galbraith Watson (nee Henderson) who were married on 31 December 1919 in Glasgow.  John Watson worked as an engineer’s machine-man.