Cyril Austin WATSON


WATSON, Cyril Austin

Service Number: 1743
Enlisted: 10 September 1915
Last Rank: Second Lieutenant
Last Unit: 38th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 14 July 1890
Home Town: Bendigo, Greater Bendigo, Victoria
Schooling: Melbourne C of E Grammar School, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Auctioneer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 23 February 1917, aged 26 years
Cemetery: Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres
Memorials: Melbourne Grammar School WW1 Fallen Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

10 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1
10 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1743, 60th Infantry Battalion, Bendigo, Vic.
4 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1743, 60th Infantry Battalion
4 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1743, 60th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Lincoln, Melbourne
30 Sep 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 38th Infantry Battalion, England
5 Oct 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 38th Infantry Battalion, England
13 Jan 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 38th Infantry Battalion, France
23 Feb 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 38th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Son of John and Harriet Dawson WATSON

CYRIL AUSTIN WATSON who was killed in action in France on 23rd February 1917 was the son of Mr. John Watson of Bendigo. He was born in 1891 and was at the School in 1905 and 1906.

On leaving School he joined his father in business in Bendigo as a stock and station agent.

He enlisted in 1916 and sailed for Egypt in May, going on to England in October as a member of the 60th Battalion. He was subsequently transferred to the 38th Battalion and on 13th January 1917 appointed a 2nd Lieutenant.

Norman Sandiford (No. 3012 on the School Roll) writes thus of him from France on 26th February : " Cyril Watson met his death fighting and doing his job thoroughly as he always did. No one knows better than I how thorough he always was, because I have been with him almost daily since we left Australia as Sergeants in reinforcements. We were in Egypt together, crossed to England together, and went on to France in November, and in January we got our commissions
on the same day. And always he was on the job, thinking of his men all the time, and giving himself no end of extra work and trouble to try and help them. On the 23rd inst. he relieved me in the front line at 5 a.m., and with a cheerful `Pleasant dreams' went along the line to see how the men were. Half an hour afterwards the Boches attempted to raid under cover of a heavy artillery barrage and Cyril went into the thick of it, visiting the different posts and encouraging and directing the men. In crossing a low portion of the trench between two posts he was struck by a shell from a howitzer and killed instantly. Anyone less cool and confident than he would not have attempted crossing. The last man he spoke to warned him that shells were landing there pretty freely, but he laughed and went to
see how the men were standing it."