George Watterson


Name:   George Watterson
Nationality:   United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service:   Highland Light Infantry
Unit Text:   10th/11th Bn.
Age:   20
Born:   Aughrim, Co. Londonderry.
Enlisted:   Glasgow
Residence:   Aughrim, Castledawson, Co. Londonderry.
Date of Death:   12/08/1916
Service No:   12291
Casualty Type:   Commonwealth War Dead. KIA.
Grave/Memorial Ref:   Pier and Face 15 C.
Memorial:   Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
Additional information:   In 1911 George was a cloth starcher. A son of William John and Sarah Watterson, Cliftonville Cottage, Aughrim, Castledawson. Details recorded in regimental museum in Edinburgh Castle. Brother of Marshall.
Mid Ulster Mail (2 /09/1916) Page 8 Col. 5 The War Office has notified Mr and Mrs William John Watterson, Cliftonville Cottage, Aughrim, that their son, Signaller George Watterson, 10th H.L.I., was killed in action on August 12th. He was only 19 years of age, and had been at the front only a week or two. The following sympathetic letter has been received by his mother from a comrade: Dear Mrs. Watterson, You will, no doubt, have heard of the death of your noble son. Being one of four who laid our dear comrade to rest, I take the liberty of writing to you. George was killed on the evening of Saturday, the 12th August, by a piece of shrapnel, death being instantaneous. Four of us laid him to rest next day (Sunday) at noon. Amid the booming of the guns, and with the sun shining in all his glory, we stood by his simple grave with uncovered heads while the chaplain read the burial service. I enclose a lock of his hair, which I cut off, for I thought you would like to have something. We put wire round the grave and put his steel helmet on the top. At the grave head we put a cross inscribed with his name, etc., and the words: 'At rest, his troubles o'er, his victory won.' Dear mother of our brave hero, accept the deepest sympathy of all his comrades. Yours sincerely, No. 452, Signaller W. Birnie.
Like his brother Marshall, see below, George’s name appears in the Books of Remembrance at Edinburgh Castle and St. Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry. They are both commemorated on a tablet of names in the Castledawson War Memorial Hall. The Mid-Ulster Mail 12th August 1922 contained the following In Memoriam, inserted by their brother Sam and is representative of the deep affection which their memory instills in the hearts of the entire Watterson family.
WATTERSON: In fond and loving memory of my dear brothers Marshall, who went missing at the Battle of Loos 25/9/1915, also George who was killed in action 12/8/1916.
Somewhere on the battlefields of France where the trees and branches wave lie my kind and loving brothers in a cold and silent grave. May the heavenly winds blow softly Over that sweet and hallowed spot Where the ones I loved lie sleeping Who will never be forgot. They are not dead but sleeping In quiet peaceful rest Jesus their spirits keeping In the mansions of the blest.

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