WATTS, George

No.5337, Private George WATTS
Aged 33

9th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died of Illness on Sunday 11th May 1919

George Watts was born in Weston Colville ( Six Mile Bottom) in 1887 (Linton Q2-1887 3B:526), son of David Brooks and Sarah Ann WATTS (née PATEMAN).

1891 census...Aged 3, he was at Lark Hall Cottages, Six Mile Bottom with his father David Brooks WATTS [33] agricultural labourer, born Guilden Morden; his mother Sarah Ann [33] born Steeple Morden; sisters Katie [12], Thurza M [10] both born in Guilden Morden and Emily born in Weston Colville [1] and brothers Thomas J [5] and Arthur [2] both born in Weston Colville.

1901 census...Aged 13, he was still at Lark Hall Cottages with his parents, sister Kate, brothers Thomas ( agricultural labourer and Arthur, sisters Emily, Annie [8], Lillian [5] and Agnes, and brothers Jack [6] and William Thomas Brooks [2] and a cousin Sarah Alice Watts [4]. All the new children were born in Weston Colville.

1911 census...Aged 24, he was a domestic groom, lodging with George and Sarah Ann SMITH at Carlton Grange Cottages, Brinkley, His parents were still at Lark Hall Cottages with his sister Kate, brothers James Thomas (horse keeper) Arthur (farm labourer) Jack (groom) and William Thomas Brooks, and sister Agnes and cousin Sarah Alice WATTS.

Throughout the records there is confusion as to whether Lark Hall was Six Mile Bottom or Weston Colville. It is mentioned in the records of both villages

He enlisted in Newmarket, joined Army in Bury St.Edmunds 5th September 1919 and was posted to 8th East Surrey Regiment on 10th September. He gave his age as 28 years 3 months, occupation, groom, 5ft 5 3/4 inches (167 cm)tall, weighing 142 lbs (64.6 kg), chest 37" to 39" (94 to 99.1 cm), blue eyed.
He joined the British Expeditionary Force in France on 27th May 1915, he contracted flu on 4 December 1915, turning to pleurisy on 17th, and evacuated back to UK and to Depot on 22nd.
Recovered he re-joined the 8th Battalion and was posted to the 4th Battalion on 8th May 1916. Posted to the BEF in France on 28th August 1916 he joined the 7th Battalion in the field on 30th August.
He then joined the 9th Battalion on 13th September 1916. At Loos, on 8th February 1917, whilst standing on the fire step he was hit by shrapnel and suffered compound fractures to his left hand. Evacuated to England, on 17th March 1917, he returned to Depot and was eventually discharged from the Army as no longer being physically fit for active service. His address on discharge was Six Mile Bottom. His Silver War Badge was number 219249. His hand was weakened, lost mobility in index and 2nd finger. He died on 11th May 1919 (Cambridge Q3-1919 3B:511), presumably an aggravation of his attack of pleurisy whilst in the Army.

George Watts is buried in Weston Colville (St.Mary's) Churchyard - SE part
and also commemorated on the war memorial in Weston Colville

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details