Private Edwin Watson
7 Bn Royal Sussex Regiment

Town Memorial P10.R3.C1

Taken, Not Given, Liam Sumption, L&DLHS

Edwin Watson
7th Royal Sussex Regt
Nov 25 1917

The regimental records (1) give the following details about Edwin Watson. He was born in Leatherhead and enlisted in London. He was a Private (Number G20588) in the 7th battalion and was 'killed in action' on 25 November 1917.

Notes on sources
(1) Soldiers Who Died in the Great War (The Royal Sussex Regiment) Imperial War Museum Lambeth
N.B. the reference of the War Diary of the 7th Battalion Royal Sussex is W0 95–1856 at the Public Record Office Kew, Richmond.

Further research


Service Number G/20588
Died 25/11/1917
Aged 29
7th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment
Son of Alfred and Ann Watson, of "Carol," 217, Kingston Rd., Leatherhead; husband of Eliza Watson, of 2, Bradford Cottages, Elm Rd., Leatherhead, Surrey.
Location: Nord, France
Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 7.

Surrey Advertiser
Saturday 14 September 1918

WATSON. Pte. E., R. Sussex (Leatherhead).

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser
Saturday 28 December

Sussex, stretcher-bearer, previously reported missing, now presumed killed. Elm-road, Leatherhead.

Edwin's brother Private Harry Watson emigrated to Canada and returned to England on 28 June 1916 as part of the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He died on 3 August 1917 and is buried in France. It is very likely that Edwin would have known this.

His life

Edwin's birth and baptism are recorded in the Register of Baptisms at the Parish Church of St Mary & St Nicholas, Leatherhead.
He was born on 28 June 1889 and baptised in the church on 4 August 1889. Some records give his place of birth as Camberwell, London.

His father was Alfred Watson (1865-1928), a Carpenter. Alfred's parents have not been traced.

His mother was Ann Townsend, born Wargrave, Berkshire 1866, a daughter of Thomas Townsend (1827-1877) who was a Farmer, and Sarah Ann Kent (1830-1910).

His parents were married on 5 April 1885 at St Giles, Camberwell, Surrey.

His siblings were Alfred Thomas born about 1887 and Harry born 1888, both in Camberwell, London, Blanche Mary born about 1892 and Robin Frank born about 1898.

Before leaving home he lived at:
1891 Census: Kingston Road, Leatherhead Common: his maternal grandmother lived with them
1901 Census: New Cottage, Kingston Road, Leatherhead (after 2 Park Road Cottage in the Census page)

In the 1911 Census he was working as a Gardener and was boarding with Thomas Godden at Givons Bothey, Leatherhead.

He married Eliza Sulley at St Peter's, Norbiton, Surrey on 25 June 1913. Eliza was born on 21 September 1889, Washford, Somerset and baptised on 23 September 1889 at St Andrew's, Old Cleeve, Somerset. Her parents were Isaac Sully (1839-1894) who was a Labourer, and Emma Burge (1856-1933).

In the 1911 Census Eliza was a Domestic Servant at 74 Kings Road, Wimbledon, Surrey.

When living at 1 Flint Cottages, Leatherhead, Edwin and Eliza had a daughter, Blanche Mary, born 12 April 1914.

After WW1

Edwin's father died in 1928. His mother, Ann, died in 1927 and his brother Robin in 1931. All are buried in the Churchyard of Leatherhead Parish Church:

E/608 WATSON Alfred b1865 d1928 63 08/02/1928
E/608 WATSON Ann b1866 d1927 61 07/12/1927
E/612 WATSON Robin Frank b1898 d1931 33 12/03/1931

His brother Alfred Thomas had emigrated to Canada in 1912, became a soldier, got married in Elgin, Ontario in 1915. In 1926, he had a son Douglas (1926-2012). Alfred died in 1937 from complications following a fall.

Edwin's widow Eliza continued living 2 Bradfords Cottages, Elm Road Leatherhead, until at least 1936.

n the 1939 England & Wales Register Eliza was living with her daughter Blanche, now married to Eric Wilkins, a Cowman, at Eastmanton Cottages, Sparsholt, Wantage Rural District, Berkshire.

In the 1950 Electoral Register Eliza was living at Woodbine Cottage, Beenham, Berkshire.

The death of an Eliza Watson
at the age of 84, born September 1889 was registered in July 1974 at Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, but that may be a different Eliza Watson.

died in 1982.

Edwin Watson is also remembered on these memorials
Leatherhead Town Memorial
Leatherhead RBL Roll of Honour, Leatherhead Parish Church
Ladies War Shrine, Leatherhead Parish Church
Church Lads Brigade Memorial Tryptich, All Saints Leatherhead

the website editor would like to add further information on this casualty
e.g. a photo of him, and of any recollections within his family

last updated 13 Aug 20