Rank or Title
Date of Birth
19 Feb 1881
Date of Death
12 Oct 1915
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Robert Watson, 9652, King's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, died on October 12th, 1915, from wounds sustained in action in France on September 29th. A piece of shrapnel had hit him in the back.
Born in Luton on February 19th, 1881, he was the son of Edmund (died 1889) and Tamar Watson (nee Humphrey).
At the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his wife Mary (nee Edge) and four-year-old daughter Vera May in Ironbridge, Shropshire, and working as an iron foundry moulder. Mary had been born in Shropshire and became a servant in London before marrying Robert in Luton towards the end of 1905.
Shortly afterwards the family returned to Luton, where Robert worked at the Diamond Foundry. His mother Tamar lived in Ridgway Road.
When war broke out Pte Watson was a Class D reservist with about two years to run. After being at the Front for ten months he came home on seven days leave, and only returned to the front on September 14th. He had gone through the battle of Neuve Chapelle without a scratch, although there were three bullet holes in his kit.
His brother Charles, of 3 William Street, Luton, who went through the South African War as a corporal in the 2nd Bedfords, received the following letter from the Rev W. H. Small, Wesleyan Chaplain at the 4th Infantry Base Depot, Rouen:
"It is with a sense of deep sympathy that I write to you to tell you that your brother passed peacefully away at noon today [October 12th]. He was brought to hospital very weak from a gunshot wound in the back. At first it was hoped he would rally. It was hoped that the haemorrhage would cease, as it seemed to give signs of doing so.
"But on Monday there was a fresh flow of blood, and nothing could be done to save him. The doctors and nurses are very sad, for they have done their level best for him. They are very devoted to their work, I know, for I was in hospital with your brother from day to day.
"He thought of you all, and particularly asked me to write to you, so that you could let the others know. We had some nice talks together, and I feel for you very deeply. He has laid down his life for the defenceless and weak."
The Chaplain said a funeral with full military honours from the English and French would probably take place on Thursday.