Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Story of John Francis Watson.

John Watson was born in Quorn and was 21 years old at the time of his enlistment in early march 1916. John had been a labourer and he enlisted at Port Pirie. He was taken on strength in the Second Reinforcements to the 5th Pioneer Battalion and promptly sent overseas on the HMAT Aeneas. The ship left Adelaide on 11th of April 1916.

Eighteen days later John was admitted to the ships hospital with measles, from which he died, three hours later.
John was taken off the ship and buried in Colombo Cemetery in Ceylon, today known as Sri Lanka.


John Watson was the last of the Quorn soldiers who I have managed to identify. It has taken some months of research but by lucky accident I discovered a reference to him in the South Australian State Archives. He has been difficult to track down as his initials on the Quorn monument were wrongly given as “R. J.”. There is also little reference to his connections with Quorn in the minimal records that resulted from his extremely short service.
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