Malvern College First World War Casualty

Captain Thomas Palmer Watson

Photo of Thomas Palmer Watson
House and time at Malvern: No 2, 1905 - 1910.

Regiment: East Lancashire Regt.
Died: 07 March 1917 aged 26 in Iraq. Killed in action near Baghdad.
Cemetery: Baghdad North XX G 12

Son of W. J. Watson, The Hollies, Breaston, Derby, b. 1891.
Lower VVI. English Verse. School Prefect. Head of House. Shooting VIII 1908-10 (captain). Cadet Officer.
Exhibitioner, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; B. A. (Third Class Class, Tripos) 1913.
Assistant Master at Forres Preparatory School, Northwood 1913.
Great War, Captain 6th Batt. E. Lancashire Regt.
M.C., Despatches (2).

'The above details show clearly enough that in his career at School he achieved much, and that he attained a position of great importance. He had the opportunity of exercising considerable influence, and he made good use of it. His influence was always sound.
His intellectual powers were of high quality; in addition to a decided taste for Classical and English Literature he had a special aptitude for music and painting. He thus had a variety of interests which made him an excellent companion, and his closest friends were attracted to him partly by a charm of manner and partly by singleness of aim and sincerity of purpose. He gave help to many who needed help, and in his home circle he was the mainstay of the house.
At Cambridge he won the esteem of tutors and men alike, and one of the former says of him that "he never put himself forward but his influence made itself felt, and was always on the side of things wholesome and straight and manly." Similar testimony is borne to his character by those with whom he worked after he left Cambridge.
When war broke out he joined the Cambridge O.T.C. again (he had been a member of that when he was an undergraduate), and was granted a commission in September 1914. In August 1915 he was wounded in Gallipoli, and about the same time he was promoted Captain. When his regiment joined the Kut relief force he and his brother, Lieut. J. H. Watson, in the same regiment, were mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross. When the forces in Mesopotamia advanced on Baghdad the East Lancashire Regiment suffered very severely at the crossing of the Diala River, and Captan T. P. Watson was killed on March 7th.
The Colonel of the Battalion, who was in command last year, says that Captain Watson was one of the finest officers in the regiment, and that the loss which his family had suffered and the sorrow they felt would be shared by his Colonel, his brother officers, and every man in the regiment.
Colonel Davy, who was commanding the regiment at the Diala, writes: "He was beloved by every officer and man who came in contact with him; he devoted the whole of his life since he had been adjutant to the welfare of every officer and man in the regiment. His rare unselfishness, devotion to duty, and his charming character made the handling of men with him an easy thing. His fine brain made all work easy to him, and his devotion to this regiment seemed to make him tireless, and his great spirit overcame physical fatigue."' (Malvernian, Jun 1917).