Story of a Photograph: The Watsons (Part Two)

Last week we told you about an interesting photograph from our collections. The photograph showed 8 brothers all sitting on a bench, probably in 1918. Now we find out what happened to the first four Watson brothers.

George Thomas Watson (1882-1950)

George was the eldest child of the Watson family. He went to Hawkhill School and Harris Academy. He was a journalist at the Dundee Advertiser, joining John Leng & Co in 1896 at the age of 14, later becoming the managing editor. On 6th August 1912 at the Royal Hotel, he married Edith High daughter of Sir William High, a Lord Provost of Dundee. They had only one child – Christine Margaret, born in 1915.

Watson, George Thomas Campaigning for churchill
George Thomas Watson (in the background) campaigning for Winston Churchill in 1910 with John Leng Sturrock.

He was involved in many bodies and organisations, including the Rotary Club, Dundee Business Club, the Film Society, and was Chairman of the Lunatic Asylum Board. He was also on the Air Defence Cadet Corps Committee, a Justice of the Peace and deacon at St Peter’s Church. He was awarded an OBE in 1945. He died on Saturday 19th August 1950. He had been attending a football match at Dens Park with his Son-in-Law when he suffered a seizure on the way home.

Albert John Watson (1884-1970)

Albert was an accountant, apprenticed to Daniel McIntyre of McIntyre & Grant. He left Scotland in 1908, bound for America. At first he took up residence in Boston but moved on to Kansas City, Missouri by 1910. There he married Lesley Alice Fassett. His sons Albert John Watson and David Watson were born in 1911 and 1912 respectively. In the US Albert worked for Marwick, Mitchell & Company, becoming a partner in 1923.

Watson, Albert John with Mrs Watson
Albert John Watson and his mother Margaret

On 15th August 1917 he joined the 342 Field Artillery of the US Army. The 342 first arrived in France in July 1918. Read an account of a Lt. Hansen from the 342. In October 1918, as a Captain, he took command of the Second Battalion for 18 days until a new Major arrived. On November 23rd, 12 days after the Armistice he took charge of the 1st Battalion. The 342 was part of the occupying Army and proceeded to march into Germany. Albert stayed in the Army until 6th September 1919. Presumably at some point during this time he took some leave and visited his family in Dundee. He returned to his wife and children in the US and then moved to San Mateo, California. He died there on 18 December 1970.

Harry Watson (1888-?)

Harry was born in 1888. We know from the 1911 census that he was a Bank Clerk. In the early 1920s he lived at 1 Step Row. He later moved to 1 Logie Avenue and then 1 Sycamore Place. He disappears from the Dundee Directories in 1938. As he doesn’t have a middle name he’s a little hard to trace. We don’t know what happens to him or where he went.

Robert Innes Watson

Robert was an Electrical Engineer. He married Catherine Cree Law in Morningside in 1925. He died in 1967 in Currie, south-west of Edinburgh.

Find out about the youngest four brothers.

If you have any information about any of the Watson brothers we would love to hear from you!

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