Sidney John Watts

London Regiment (London Irish Rifles)
Date of death 
3 September 1918
Age of death 
Gate Cottage
Snakes Lane
Woodford Green
Address source 
1911 Census
Cemetery / Memorial 

Born in 1899 at Woodford, son of Isaac (Great Eastern Railway Porter) and Annie M. Watts. 1901 and 1911: With his family at Gate Cottage Snakes Lane, Woodford Green. The family home was later at Station Cottage Snakes Lane, and 42 Queen's Avenue Woodford Green.

He enlisted at Stratford, initially joining 8 London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) but later transferred to 18 London (London Irish Rifles).

The Battalion had seen action in the area of the Somme during August 1918. On 31st August heavy casualties were sustained taking high ground west of the Rancourt to Bouchevesnes-Bergen Road, not least from the British artillery barrage which fell short. They attacked again on 1st September, gaining their objective of the western edge of St Pierre Vaast Wood, and later relieved 15 London (Civil Service Rifles) on the left of the Divisional front.

The general attack resumed at 05.30 on 2nd September along the whole Corps front. Taking advantage of an action to their right, the Battalion moved to overcome those pockets of resistance left in Amazon and Amulet Trenches after a previous assault. This was very successful with two Officers and 65 Other Ranks captured, and a similar number forced towards the 142 Brigade line where they surrendered. On the afternoon of 2nd September the Battalion withdrew for rest and reorganization at Hospital Farm, which they undertook on 3rd September 1918.

Their War Diary makes no mention of any action on 3rd September, but The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists six men as Killed in Action, including Sidney Watts. It is strongly suspected that Sidney was actually killed with others during the fighting on 2nd September 1918, but whatever the date his remains were not recovered, so he is listed on the Vis en Artois Memorial.

X/R:  Private George Isaac Watts (Brother)

Research by Adrian Lee, Local Historian


LIR Regimental History