The Feature Page
William Watson DCM
WILLIAM WATSON D.C.M.
1858-1918 (MYSTERY MAN) YEAR AGE
St. Mary Abbot Kensington London. 1858
Married Bridget (a local lass) while a serving soldier with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, at the Barracks Sligo, Eire Year 1881 aged 23
Daughter Mary Ann Born in Sligo Year 1882 aged 24
Stationed at The Curragh Co. Kildare. year 1882 (May) aged 24
Son, Owen John, Born in Dinapore, W. Bengal (India) whilst serving with the 1BN, S. Yorkshire 51st as sergt. 8 Brigade, No 1443. year 1884 aged 26
Daughter, Winifred Maud, Born at Dinafox W. Bengal (India). year 1886 aged 28
Fought in Burma, Awarded "Burma Medal and 2 Bars". (not previously known). Probably with the K.O.Y.L.I. 1885-1887 aged 29
Fought in Sudan. (Battle of Omdurman) Awarded "Queens Sudan Medal 1897" and "Khedives Sudan Medal" with "Clasp Karthume".
With the 2nd. Lancashire Fusiliers year 1897 aged 39
Awarded "Long Service and Good Conduct Medal" Whilst with 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers. year 1897 aged 39
Fought in S. Africa (Boer War) "Distinguished Conduct Medal" London Gazetted 27th Sept 1901.
Rank Listed as Colour Sergeant
With 2nd. Lancashire Fusiliers No 5397 year 1901 aged 43
Awarded "Queens South Africa Medal" with clasps "Relief of Ladysmith" and "Tugela Heights " and "Kings South Africa Medal with
Clasps "1901-1902". year 1902 aged 44
On first coming to Middleton, He and his family resided at the Drill Hall (81 Manchester New Road) where he held the position of Drill Instructor (probably on return from Boer War). year 1903? aged 45
Up until 1914 He was Sergt.-Major in charge of the Middleton Detachment of the National Reserves and Drill Instuctor to E-Company Of the Volunteers. He also worked at the Manchester Royal Exchange. (Patent Office). 1903-1914 45-56
Board of Trade Staff list April 1918, described as,
Sergeant Major 11th (Service) Battalion , Lancashire Fusiliers No 5080
He enlisted with the Durham Light Infantry as a Draught Conducting Officer rank listed as Lieutenant and Quarter Master. year 1914 aged 57
An account of his death in the Middleton Guardian Saturday June 22nd 1918 states ..
He had fully recovered from a "Chill" as a result of Being "Torpedoed" ???. Some time later, he suddenly died in Donegal Ireland whilst serving as a Draught Conducting Officer. Cause of death
Listed as "Heart Failure". There is no mention of him "being shot on a railway station "! (My sister is still adamant about that!)
He was Buried 25.06.1918 with "Full Military Honours" at Boarshaw Cemetery, Middleton. 1 year 1918 aged 60
He is buried near to Joel Halliwell VC
This from the archives of the Middleton Guardian:-
The shop that our reader was referring to was Wolstencroft and Halls which was on Mount Road. Having fought in the First World War, and out of work and on the dole, Albert Wolstencroft of Tonge Hall came up with the idea of starting his own business while strolling through Alkrington Woods with his future brother-in-law, John Hall. They invested £50 each in a fruit and potato merchants. Working day and night they lost £80 in the first six months. Wolstencroft who once said: 'I love to do battle', got stuck in and made the business a success. At the time of his retirement he had six shops in addition to the wholesale business.
Albert was commissioned and eventually gazetted as a major, he was entitled to retain his military titles, and was also awarded the Military Medal for 'bravery in the field'
His honours for civic and political matters included the Mayoralty, Freeman of the Borough and he was awarded the Order of the British Empire, OBE.