Topic: Charles Watt (1880-1915)

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Lieutenant Charles Watt was killed in action at Gallipoli during World War I (1914-1918) on 30 May 1915. He was aged 34 and had also served during the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902). Charles was my third great uncle - Debbie McCauley (2013).

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Charles Watt (1880-1915)

Charles Watt was born on 24 September 1880 (reg. 1880/12775). His parents were Alexander (1838-1900) and Anne Watt (nee Gerrie) (1837-1908) who married in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on 8 March 1859. They arrived in New Zealand aboard the 'Queen of the Avon' in 1859.

Charles enlisted in the Hunterville Mounted Rifles Volunteers on 10 November 1900. The group was formed on 10 September 1900.

He joined the 9th New Zealand Contingent in February 1902 for service in the South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902). He was a Private (Service No. 7379).

In August 1902 he was discharged and awarded the South African Medal with Clasps 'South Africa 1902' and 'Transvaal'.

Charles continued to serve in the Volunteers and Territorial Force and was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the 6th (Manawatu) Mounted Rifles Regiment in December 1912. On 8 May 1913 he was awarded the New Zealand Territorial Service Medal.

On the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918) Charles signed up from Kimbolton. He entered camp with 6th (Manawatu) Squadron, Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment (Service No. 11/165) with the rank of Second Lieutenant.

Charles was awarded a leave of absence from 1 March 1914 to 20 April 1914 to be absent from the Dominon. His address whilst on leave was c/- Sydney P.O., Sydney.

His enlistment forms, dated 15 August 1914, record a shot wound of the right hand along with an appendicitis operation on right side of abdomen. His height was given as 5ft 9.5 inches, weight 11st 8lb, complexion fair with blue eyes and light brown hair. 

Charles embarked for Suez, Egypt with the Main Body on 16 October 1914 aboard either the Orari or Arawa, arriving on 4 December 1914.

His next of kin being shown as his brother James Watt of Kimbolton, Feilding, as his parents were both dead by this stage. Another brother is recorded as William Watt, of 17 Grey Street, Feilding, Wellington.

Charles landed on Gallipoli on 12 May 1915, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 14 May 1915.

He was killed in action, aged 34, at Old No. 3 Post, Gallipoli, on 30 May 1915 (reg. 1918/37599).

There is a memorial to Charles on the Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey (Panel 72).

His death was reported in the Feilding Star on 7 June 1915:

DEATH. WATT. - Killed in action in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Charles Watt, of Peep-o'-Day, youngest son of the late Alexander Watt; aged 34 years (p. 2).

And in the Auckland Weekly News on 1 July 1915:

Lieutenant C. Watt, who was killed in action, was a former resident of Peep o' Day and a valued and respected officer in the old Hunterville Mounted Rifles (p. 20). 

In 1922 his service medals [1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal] were sent to his next of kin.

In 1964 those medals were inherited by a Mr S G Lawson of Feilding who requested replacement ribbons for them which were sent by the Ministry of Defence on 4 May 1964.

 

References:

Auckland Weekly News (1 July 1915, p. 20).

Births, Deaths and Marriages Online (New Zealand).

Cenotaph Database (South African War).

Cenotaph Database (World War I).

Fielding Star (7 June 1915, p. 2).

Military personnel file (Archives New Zealand).

New Zealand Gazette (16 September 1915).

 

How to cite this page: McCauley, Debbie (2013). Charles Watt (1880-1915). Retrieved from http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/remembering_war/topics/show/1526 (Tauranga Memories, last updated: *insert date*). In-text citation: (McCauley, 2013).

A version of this article was archived in August 2016 at Perma CC https://perma.cc/WY28-U3RR

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Charles Watt (1880-1915)


Year:1915
Note:Service Number. 11/165
First Names:Charles
Last Name:Watt
Date of Birth:24 September 1880
Country of birth:New Zealand
Date of death:30 May 1915
Place of death:Old No. 3 Post, Gallipoli, Turkey
Place of burial:Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey
Occupation:farmer and shearer
Fathers name:Alexander Watt
Fathers date of birth:1838
Fathers place of birth:Scotland
Fathers date of death:15 June 1900
Fathers place of death:Hunterville, New Zealand
Mothers name:Ann Gerrie
Mothers date of birth:1837
Mothers place of birth:Scotland
Mothers date of death:1 July 1908
Mothers place of death:Hunterville, New Zealand
Military Service:South African War (Boer War) (1899-1902) and World War I (1914-1918)

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