Bulimba History Admin

12 Oct, 2018.2 min read

World War I

Watson Family

Watson Family:

Arriness Herbert WATSON (Father) Regimental number: 742
Rank: Private – Died of Disease (DOD) b. 1868 d. 1916 45 years

Alexander Norman WATSON (Son) Regimental number: 3454
Rank: Private – Returned to Australia (RTA) b 1893 d 1969 76 years

Alfred WATSON (Son) Regimental number: 92
Driver – Killed in Action (KIA) b 1895 d 4 July 1918 23 years

Charles Herbert WATSON (Son) – Depot - b 1897 d 1960 63 years

Aranus (Arriness) Herbert Watson enlisted on 30 October 1915 aged 44 years. Born in Hobart he lived at “Virginia” Crows Nest Qld. Arriness was married to Florence De Roche and when he enlisted he had 5 children under 16. His youngest son Ken was 3 when Arriness died of disease (influenza) on Christmas Day 1916.

Arriness embarked on 5 June 1916 from Sydney on the “Borda” A30 troopship. He was in the 42nd Battalion. He was sent to France on 25th November 1916 and was admitted to the 8th Stationary Hospital on the 18th December. He passed away on 25 December 1916 and was buried in the Wimereux Communal Cemetery.

Three of Arriness’ sons enlisted – Alexander Norman, Alfred and Charles Herbert.

Alexander enlisted on 29 July 1915 aged 25. He was a farmer of Pierce’s Creek near Crows Nest. He embarked on the “Seang Bee” A48 troopship. Alexander was in the 15th Battalion and served in the Middle East and France. He was wounded in action on 31 March 1918 with a GSW (Gunshot wound) to his arm. He was returned to Australia and discharged on 7 November 1920 after undergoing extensive treatment for his wounds.

Alfred was born at Kangaroo Point. He enlisted on 22 September 1914 aged 19. Alfred embarked on the “Persic” A34 troopship on 21 December 1914. He served in the Middle East and France. Alfred married Elsie May Stephenson in England on 6 September 1917. He was killed in action on 4 July 1918 near Villers Bretonneux.

Charles Herbert Watson who was born in Brisbane enlisted on 7 September 1915 aged 18. On 14 June 1916 he was discharged being medically unfit due to a pre-existing condition. Charles settled in Bulimba after the war living in Quay Street when his children William and Donald attended Bulimba School.

Arriness’ widow Florence moved to Brisbane at the end of the war and she lived in Victoria Street (now Godwin) until she passed away in 1957. The home Florence lived in was opposite the Bulimba Memorial Park overlooking the memorial tree that commemorated the service of her family.