Thomas Watson was born in 1881 in Bradford the son of Frederick and Mary Jane, nee Kemp. Nine children had been born to Frederick and Mary Jane but only four survived. In 1911 Thomas, at 29 years of age, was working in a combing mill. He enlisted on the 3rd of December 1915 as Private 5334 in the 1/6th Battalion of the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment). He was 34 years 198 days in age and a woolcomber of 62 Wellington Road. He was 5 foot 4 ½ inches in height and he weighed ll8lbs. His
chest measurement was 36 inches and his physical development was described as very good although he had a hammer toe on his left foot. His vision is also given as 6/6.The 1/6th Battalion became part of the 49th West Riding Division which was involved in the Battles of the Somme in 1916, at the Battle of Albert on the first day, the Battle of Bazentin, the Battle of Pozieres and at Flers-Courcelette. The Somme offensive ground to a halt on the 18th of November and Thomas had survived only to be killed in action three days later on
the 21st of November 1916. He was 35 years of age. Writing to his parents Lieutenant Ogston said “It is with deep regret that I have to inform you of your son’s death. He was killed by a shell this morning. He was a good soldier and was always willing to do anything. Please accept my deepest sympathy”.Thomas was buried at Foncquevillers Military Cemetery.He left his effects to his mother Mary Jane who received £2.16.7d on the 15th May 1917 and a War Gratuity of £3.0.0d on the 15th October 1919.
Researched and written by Jean Britteon, to whom many thanks