David Thomas Watson

Mar 8, 1892

Born in Haliburton County, Ontario to James and Priscilla (nee Toms) Watson


Jul 4, 1914

Married to Jessie Caroline Brethour in Bancroft, Ontario


Feb 12, 1916

Attested into the 155th Battalion CEF in Bancroft, Ontario

Ø  Number 636617

Ø  Next of kin given as Jessie Caroline Watson, wife, RR No. 2, Bancroft, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Farmer

Ø  No previous military experience given

Ø  Religion given as Church of England

Ø  Posted to “D” Company

The battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area

His brothers, Oliver and George, both attested into the battalion the same month.




Jun 27, 1916

Admitted to the Barriefield Hospital with a diagnosis that reads Measles


Jul 7, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital


Jul 22, 1916

While on a pass from the battalion, David Watson went hunting near his home in Bancroft and while climbing a fence, his rifle accidentally discharged and a bullet passed through his left foot, severing 1 toe and causing damage to 2 other toes.  He was treated at home by his family doctor.


Jul 25, 1916

After rejoining the battalion in Kingston, he was admitted to the Kingston General Hospital for further treatment

Following an enquiry into the circumstances of the incident, it was concluded that the wound was caused by an accident and he was discharged from hospital with light duties for 1 month to allow his foot to fully heal


Sep 1, 1916

Admitted to the Barriefield Hospital with a diagnosis that reads Tonsillitis


Sep 5, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital

Sep 30, 1916

Admitted to the Ongwanada Military Hospital in Kingston with a diagnosis that reads Bronchitis


Oct 9, 1916

Discharged to duty from hospital


Oct 17, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland in Halifax, Nova Scotia


Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott


Dec 5, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Dec 6, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 147 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Feb 22, 1917

After leaving the base depot, Private Watson joined the 21st Battalion in the trenches west of Vimy Ridge, France


Apr 9, 1917

During the battalion’s attack on Vimy Ridge, Private Watson received shrapnel wounds to his head and was evacuated first to a field ambulance for first aid before being transported to a casualty clearing station for treatment.


Apr 14, 1917

Transferred to the No. 13 Canadian Stationary Hospital in Boulogne for further treatment


Apr 16, 1917

Transferred to the No. 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne to recover from his wounds


Apr 17, 1917

Transferred to the No. 10 Convalescent Depot in Ecault, to continue his recovery


May 15, 1917

Transferred to the No. 3 Rest Camp in Boulogne to continue his recovery


May 18, 1917

Discharged from the rest camp and arrived at the base depot in Boulogne and posted to “A” Company for those recovering from wounds and illness


Jun 5, 1917

Transferred to the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Havre, France


Jun 13, 1917

After leaving the base depot he joined the 2nd Canadian Entrenching Battalion in Hersin, France as part of a draft of 69 reinforcements destined to join the 21st Battalion


Jun 26, 1917

After leaving the entrenching battalion, Private David Watson rejoined the 21st Battalion in billets in Coupigny, France


Aug 15, 1917

The 21st Battalion participated in the capture of Hill 70 near Lens, France and the Germans put up severe resistance.  Following the capture by the Canadians, the Germans mounted several counter attacks that often involved hand to hand combat, but the Canadians held the ground and the enemy finally retreated.  During this heavy fighting, Private David Thomas Watson was first reported Missing in Action but was later determined to have been killed in action.  However, his identifiable body was never recovered and his name is listed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy Ridge, France for those killed during the war in France and have no known grave.


Following the war, the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his widow, Mrs. Jessie C. Watson, RR #2 Bancroft, Ontario

A second Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. F. Watson, at the same address


David Thomas Waters in honoured on the War Memorial in Bancroft, Ontario



Return to Tribute list