Military Monday – Watson Emmott Dawson (1887-1944)

Watson Emmott Dawson is my 1st cousin 3x removed.  Our common ancestors are my 4x great grandparents John Dawson and Ann Watson.

Watson was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire, on 24 June 1887 to parents Thomas Dawson and Jane Emmott.

On the 3 April 1917 Watson went to Halifax and enlisted in the 4th West Riding Regiment.  His service number was 205100.

Just fifteen weeks later, on 18 July 1917, Watson was discharged from service with a £50 gratuity. He was described as being ‘physically unfit’.

Watson was admitted to the Wharncliffe War Hospital in Sheffield on 30 May 1917 for assessment. Unfortunately the written transcript is not very clear. But I can make out some of the words and phrases.

His behaviour is described as ‘childish’ and it is also reported that Watson believed that he was ‘the King of Greece’.

The Medical Board report cites the reason for his discharge as ‘imbecility’. It goes on to say that the condition originated at birth and was ‘not the result of or aggravated by ordinary military service.’

I feel sad for Watson. Whatever the circumstances here he was most probably ill and went through a difficult experience.

Watson lived until the age of 57. His death is registered in Q4 of 1944.


  1. Hello, found the Memorial Inscription in the Cowling Baptist Chapel Graveyard.

    In Loving Memory of Thomas Dawson of Well Head, Cowling
    died Jan 18th 1926 aged 74yrs
    Also Jane his wife died Feb 2nd 1949 aged 90yrs
    Also their son Watson Emmott Dawson died Oct 14th 1944 aged 57yrs
    Also James Willie their son died Dec 20th 1954 aged 69yrs
    Also Albert Frederick their eldest son died Aug 31st 1961 aged 78yrs
    Also of Winsome daug of Albert & Ethel Dawson and wife of Brian Ferry
    a dear Mummy of David died Dec 8th 1965 aged 41yrs



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