Pte
Roger Moffat Watts

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1888
Place of birth:
Hetton-le-Hole, Durham, England, United Kingdom

General information

Profession:
waggonway-man

Army information

Country:
England, United Kingdom
Force:
British Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
203055
Enlistment place:
Stockton-on-Tees, Durham, England, United Kingdom
Units:
 —  Durham Light Infantry, 13th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
12/10/1917
Place of death:
Reutel, Beselare, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
29

Memorial

Tyne Cot Memorial
Panel: 131A

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Roger Moffat Watts, a former waggonway-man, was born in 1888 in Hetton-le-Hole, Durham, England. He was the eldest son of Thomas and Barbara Purvis. He moved to Lincolnshire and married Beatrice Ellen Windle in 1910. Two years later Beatrice gave birth to their daughter Ada. In August 1914 Roger Watts enlisted as a private at Stockton-on-Tees, Durham England. He served as a private in the 1/5th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, later transferred to the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, part of the 68th Brigade, of the 23rd Division.

On the 10th of October 1917 the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry relieved the front line troops at the Reutel Crossroads, facing the village of Beselare. The relief was complete on the morning of the 11th, establishing the headquarters at the Butte in Polygon Wood. During the 11th and the night of the 12th the enemy shelled the front and support lines, prompting the headquarters to be moved south to the edge of Polygon Wood. The Battalion was relieved on the night between the 12th and 13th of October 1917 and moved to Railway dugouts at Zillebeke.

Roger Watts, aged 29, was killed in action on October 12th, 1917. Between the 11th and the 12th of October forty men were wounded and five men were killed. Private Watts was one of the men killed that day. He has no known grave and is remembered on panel 131A of the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 3

13 Battalion Durham Light Infantry (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 95/2182/2).
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG14).
https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
Sources used
Wilfrid Miles, The Durham Forces in the Field, 1914-18 (London, Cassell and Company, 1920), 195.
Sources used

More information 3