Arnold Watson War Diary 1919

This document is a digital scan (screen quality) of Arnold's 1919 War Diary.

Filename: Watson_Diary_1919_-_World_War_I.pdf ( download )

Size: 13.9 MB

Document type: application/pdf ( )

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Archived digital file here:

Arnold Henfrey Watson 1916 (cropped)

From the 19th Mounted Reinforcements he was drafted into the 15th NZ Company of the Imperial Camel Corps, where he remained until it was disbanded in mid-1918.

All his life Arnold was interested in drawing, painting and natural history. Towards the end of the war he was co-opted by Lt-Col. James McCarroll, commanding officer of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, as a semi-official war artist. In the last year of conflict and the more relaxed time after the Armistice in November 1918 he had enough free time to sketch the native wildlife of Palestine and Egypt. He filled the spare spaces in his diaries with tiny, carefully-observed drawings of plants and insects, some in full colour. He also had cartoons published in the ‘Kia Ora Coo-ee’, the magazine produced in Cairo for ANZAC troops in the Middle East. 

After the war he married Christine Vingoe and they had two children, a son and a daughter. In the 1940s they retired from farming and moved to Mount Maunganui, where Arnold swam at the beach every morning. He drowned while surfing in 1960.

To download diary transcript and sketches as an eBook, click here.


A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC

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