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   Chaplain John Edmund Malone Watson M.C.
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 04/06/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 21st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge) (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 01/12/1886
Died: 10/04/1918 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 31
Summary      
John Edmund Malone Watson was the eldest son of John Watson and Beatrice Elizabeth Watson. He was born about 1887 in County Armagh. He was the son of a Church of Ireland Rector of Charlemont. By 1911, John Edmund was living in Belfast. John was a Clerk in Holy Order. The CWGC records that he was married to Mary K Watson, of "Ard-Stratha,'' Antrim Road Belfast. John Watson joined the Army and became a Chaplain 4th Class. Rev. John Watson was serving with the Army Chaplains' Department attending the 21st Battalion Middlesex Regiment when he was killed on 10 April 1918. He was 31 years old. Reverend John Edmund Malone Watson was award the Military Cross.
Chaplain John Edmund Malone Watson M.C.
Further Information
John Edmund Malone Watson was the eldest son of John Watson and Beatrice Elizabeth Watson. He was born in December 1886 in County Armagh.
The 1901 census records the family living at house 1 in Keenaghan, Charlemont, Armagh. J Edward M was a 14 year old scholar. He was the son of a Church of Ireland Clergyman Rector.
Edmund Watson attended the Royal School Dungannon between 1898 and 1901.
Edmund went on to graduate from Trinity College, Dublin. While there, he won the Hebrew Prize.
He was ordained to the curacy of St Jamesís Parish, Antrim Road, Belfast in 1910 and laboured there with Ďability and acceptanceí.
Family: John Watson, Beatrice Elizabeth Watson, John Edmund Malone Watson (born about 1887), Frank H Chouly Watson (born about 1888), Arthur Hubert Watson (born about 1891), George Cyril Watson (born about 1893), Wilfred M Watson (born about 1895), Kathleen Beatrice Watson (born about 1899).
By 1911, John Edmund was living in Belfast. He and his brother George were lodging at house 37 in Rosemount Gardens, Clifton. John was by then a Clerk in Holy Order.
The family were still living in Keenaghan, Charlemont, Armagh.
He married Mary Kathleen Atkinson in July 1914. Mary was the second daughter of Mr John Atkinson, Ardstratha, Antrim Road, Belfast.
In December 1915, Rev John Watson was appointed a Chaplain to the Forces, chaplain 4th Class.
Medal card
He was mentioned in despatches by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 29 December 1917:
Rev J E M Watson, who was curate of the parish of St James's Church, Antrim Road, Belfast, from his ordination in 1910 until his appointment as chaplain on 30th December 1915?. He is the son of a clergyman in the diocese of Armagh, and resided in Rosemount Gardens, Belfast.
John Edmund Malone Watson was serving with the Army Chaplains' Department attending the 21st Battalion Middlesex Regiment when he died of wounds on 10 April 1918. He was injured while attending to a wounded soldier. He was 31 years old
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 15th April 1918: Chaplains
Rev John Edmund Malone Watson, B.A., Chaplain to the Forces (attached Middlesex Regiment), who has been killed in action, was a son of Rev John Watson, rector of Charlemont, County Tyrone. A graduate of Trinity College, he was ordained to the curacy of St Jamesís Parish, Belfast in 1910 and laboured there with ability and acceptance until December 1915, when he was appointed a Chaplain to the Forces. He was recently mentioned in despatches by Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig. He married in July last Miss Mary Kathleen Atkinson, second daughter of Mr John Atkinson, Ardstratha, Antrim Road. Two of his brothers are serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.), Major Frank Watson and Captain Herbert Watson, the latter of whom being stationed at Victoria Barracks, Belfast.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 20th April 1918:
Rev John E M Watson, B.A., chaplain attached Middlesex Regiment, (son of Rev John Watson, incumbent at Charlemont, who is a native of Tamnaskenny), has been killed in action. The deceased was a Hebrew Prizeman in Trinity College, and was curate of St Jamesí Parish, Belfast from 1910. He was recently mentioned in despatches. Two brothers are in the medical service, Major Frank Watson and Captain Herbert Watson.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 25 April 1918:
Rev John Edmund Malone Watson, B.A., Chaplain to the Forces (attached Middlesex Regiment), killed in action, was a son of Rev John Watson, incumbent of Charlemont, Moy, County Tyrone. The deceased was a Hebrew Prizeman of Trinity, and was ordained in 1910 for the curacy of St James, Antrim Road, Belfast and laboured there with Rev T G G Collins B.D., until he left the parish temporarily in December 1915, for service with the troops. The rev. gentleman was married to a daughter of Mr John Atkinson, Ardstratha, Antrim Road, Belfast. Two of his brothers are in the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C), Major Frank Watson and Captain Herbert Watson, the latter of whom is stationed in Belfast. The deceased was a general favourite in his parish and news of his death will be received with sorrow.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 29 April 1918: The Late Rev J E M Watson, C.F. - Memorial Service in St Jamesí Church
An impressive service was held in St James' Church yesterday afternoon in memory of Rev J E M Watson, B.A., C.F., late curate of the parish, who died recently in France of wounds received in action. The Lord Bishop of the Diocese (Right Rev DR ?? was the preacher, and the other clergy who took part in the proceedings were the Dean of Belfast (Rev C T P Gelerson? B.D.) and the rector of St James' (Rev T G Collins B.D.). The Lord Bishop, in the course of a touching tribute to the work and worth of Mr Watson, said when he met their late curate, as he did from time to time in his position as Bishop of the Diocese, he always felt he was good through and through. There was a straightness and simplicity of soul about him which was a great charm. Looking at Mr Watson from his point of view as Bishop of the Diocese, he always felt he was a man who did his duty. When they thought of it, that was saying a great deal about any man. Everything he had heard recently had tended to confirm the estimate which he had thus formed of the man and his work. He would state the plain facts of the case. Mr Watson was a good man, a straight man, doing his work as such a man would do it, and then meeting his death in the midst of that work. But when they looked a little more deeply they felt there was far more than that. When he heard of Mr Watson dying at his post as chaplain at the battle front he felt that the curate, that simple minded man, had conferred a greater honour on the Diocese than had ever been conferred on it throughout its history by any other man than ever he heard of. Mr Watson met his death whilst he tended to a wounded man in the field of battle. The general of his division had written to say that Mr Watson was sorely missed, and that he had recommended him for the Military Cross. That gave them some idea of the way in which his work and worth were recognised. After the benediction had been pronounced by the Lord Bishop, the Last Post was sounded by buglers of the Northumberland Fusiliers, and the service concluded with the Death March in Saul, impressively plated by the organist.
Reverend John Edmund Malone Watson was award the Military Cross after he died.
From the London Gazette dated 16 September 1918: Military Cross Citation
Rev John Edmund Malone Watson, Army Chaplains Dept. For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. During six days fighting, this chaplain was in line with the battalion and in close touch with the men, being indefatigable in his close attention to the wounded. His fine example and cheerfulness under very trying circumstances greatly encouraged the wounded.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 3rd October 1918: Fallen Chaplainís Fine Example
It is officially announced that his Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Military Cross to the undermentioned officers in recognition for their gallantry and devotion to duty:- Rev J E M Watson, Chaplain to the Forces, eldest son of Rev John Watson (rector of Charlemont), and a former curate of St Jamesís Church, Belfast:- ĎDuring six days fighting this chaplain was in line with the battalion and in close touch with the men, being indefatigable in his attention to the wounded. His fine example and cheerfulness under very trying circumstances greatly encouraged the wounded.í Mr Watson died of wounds on 10th April last.
Reverend John Edmund Malone Watson is commemorated on the War Memorial in St James's Church of Ireland, Antrim Road, Belfast
Two of his brothers served in the Royal Army Medical Corps (R.A.M.C.), Major Frank Watson and Captain Herbert Watson, the latter of whom was stationed at Victoria Barracks, Belfast at the time of Rev John Watsonís death.
The CWGC record Reverend John Edmund Malone Watson as the son of The Rev. John Watson of Charlemont Rectory, County Tyrone. He is also recorded as the husband of Mary K. Watson of ĎArd-Strathaí' Antrim Road, Belfast
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Keenaghan, Charlemont Moy Census listing in Keenaghan 54.425222 -6.68081
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Watson family Lists J Edward M as age 14 living with the family at house 1 in Keenaghan, Charlemont, Armagh
2 1911 Census lists John E M Watson Lists John Edmond M as age 24 boarding at house 37 in Rosemount Gardens, Clifton, Belfast
3 1911 Census lists Watson family Lists William as age 13, living with the family at house 24 in Knocknagoney, Ballyhackamore, Down
4 1911 Census lists Watson family Does not list John Edmond as living with the family at house 27 in Keenaghan, Charlemont, Armagh
5 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
6 St Jamesís C of I, Antrim Road, Belfast Lists John Edmond Watson on it's War Memorial
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020