Lance/Corporal Harry Watson
142353 19th Machine Gun Corps
Formerly 12682 East Lancashire Regiment
Died of wounds 27th March 1918, whilst a prisoner
Lived at 26 Pine Street
Buried in Denain Communal Cemetery, France
Burnley Express 31st August 1918

Son of Catherine and the late Richard Frederick Watson

Harry is commemorated on a gravestone in the Haggate Baptist churchyard, The grave contains the remains of his father Richard, and his father and grandfather.

(Courtesy of Rex Watson)

I was very interested to come across your website concerning Burnley and The Great War.
My family on my father’s side came from Burnley and ended up in Leeds following the transfer of my grandfather by the Post Office, Telecommunications section.
Harry Watson was the brother of my Grandmother Gladys Dalton (Watson) and is my great uncle.
Over the last few years I have tried to find out a bit more about him and his time in France. The family always said he died at the Battle of the Somme.

My understanding is that he was wounded during the early days of Operation Michael and was taken prisoner hence his death certificate indicating he was a prisoner of war and dying behind the lines in a German hospital.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that he was part of the MGC defence near Villeret when the village was overrun during the German’s rapid advance but I have to stress this maybe me coming to the wrong conclusion based on incomplete information and hearsay.

Anyway the attached photograph was taken shortly before he died.

(Courtesy of Ian Dalton)




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