Pte. A. Watson


UNIT: 8th Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry


STATUS: Killed in Action

DATE OF DEATH: 8th December 1917

CEMETERY OR MEMORIAL: Giavera British Cemetery, Italy.

AGE: 36

Alfred was the son of Francis and Elizabeth Watson, of Northallerton. He was married to Florence Watson, who was living in Middlesborough when the C.W.G.C. compiled their records at the end of the War. Alfred and Florence had two children, Albert and Freda.

He had originally joined the Yorkshire Regiment (No. 5246) when he enlisted, but was subsequently posted to the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

The 8th KOYLIs were part of a British force which was rushed to Italy in November 1917, when the Austrian Army appeared to be about to defeat the Italians as they advanced across Northern Italy after the Battle of Caporetto. The Austrian attack ran out of steam, however, at the River Piave and it was to the banks of this river that the 8th KOYLI were sent.

They went into the front line opposite Edifico, in the Montello Sector, on about 3rd December 1917. They relieved the 2/136th Regiment of the 70th Italian Division. They formed the left-most Battalion of the Brigade, with an Italian Division on their left and the 11th Sherwood Forresters on their right.

HRH the Prince of Wales (later to become Edward VIII and abdicate the throne in 1936) visited the KOYLIs on 6th December and Alfred was killed, aged 36, in unknown circumstances two days later. The Battalion was withdrawn to the support trenches on the 13th December.