WATSON, George Frank

When George enlisted at Inverell in December 1915, he gave his place of birth as Muswellbrook NSW.  He was a thirty two year old married man, working as a Shearer and living with his wife Eva in Oliver Street Inverell.  George joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left Inverell together on 12 January 1916 for the Narrabri and Armidale camps. George is believed to have been in charge of the sheepdog photographed with The Kurrajongs. The dog was later named ‘Kurri’.

George joined the 33rd Battalion, C Company which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia in May 1916.  After reaching England the Battalion had further training at Salisbury Plain before being sent to France in November. During the Battle of Messines in June 1917 George was wounded in action and transferred to the Central Military Hospital in England for treatment. It was six months before he returned to his unit in France. During April 1918 he was gassed and invalided back to England for treatment at Beaufort War Hospital.  Again he returned to France, just before the end of the War. 

Private Watson returned to Australia with many other troops on the transport ship Borda and was medically discharged in December 1919. His war service affected his health and in 1926 he died at Inverell shortly after spending time in hospital in Sydney.  He was buried at Inverell.  

Private Watson is remembered at Inverell where his name is inscribed on the town’s Honor Roll. 

Photo: Believed to be George Watson with Kurri the sheepdog