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SOUTH SHIELDS

Watmough, J.C., 2nd Lieut., 1915
In Ridge Wood Military Cemetery is the Commonwealth War Grave of 2nd Lieutenant John Cyril Watmough serving with the 2nd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers who died 10/07/1915.

John Cyril was born in Moorfields, Bramley, Yorkshire, on the 14th January 1889. His father Joseph was a school master, (at the time teaching Languages and Science,) who was married to Mary Helen and they had 9 children. John Cyril was the oldest boy out of the six boys.

He is one of four brothers who enlisted, and 3 including John Cyril were killed including Victor Watmough, and Edmund Watmough and his other brother Henry Francis Watmough also enlisted.

Before the family moved to the North East John's father was actively involved in politics and became a political agent. By 1901 the family were residing at 43 Marine Approach, South Shields. John's youngest brother Cecil, was born in the North East about 1910.

His father had moved to London to become a 'Secretary to a Political Association' leaving his family who were residing by this time at 41 Meldon Terrace, Heaton.

John Cyril in 1911 was a student and attended Armstrong College in Newcastle. Prior to this he had been at Westoe School.

After he qualified as a teacher he taught at South Shields. His address at this time was 25 Ninth Avenue, Heaton, Newcastle.

The Gazette Announcement of September 9th 1915, reads that J.C. Watmough was to be a 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) from the 15th August 1915, from the special reserve of officers from the unattached list Territorial Forces Officers' Training Corps. Infantry.

This was further confirmed by the Gazette Announcement that he was to be a 2nd Lieutenant from the Special Reserve of Officers.

In the Newcastle Journal for Tuesday 20/07/1915 has a notice :

2nd Northumberland Fusiliers. Killed. Second-Lieut. J. C. Watmough, 2nd N.F., is reported to have been killed in France.

Also a further entry that quotes : "It was appropriate that reference should have been made at the meeting of the South Shields Education Committee, yesterday, to the death of Second-Lieut, John C. Watmough who was recently shot by a sniper at the Front. Mr Watmough was a pupil under the authority and afterwards a student at Armstrong College, before becoming a teacher in a South Shields School, [Barnes C.S.] and he early [sic] gave his services to the country after the outbreak of war, obtaining his commission in the 3rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. He was a young man of much promise in the teaching profession, and much regret is felt that his career should have been cut so short."

In the Annual Armstrong College Report for 1915, dated October 1915, presented by Principle Hadow to the governors of the College he states :- "The losses which the College has sustained through the war up to October of that year, To these must now be added the following :- included in the list 19 name are listed and Lieutenant J.C. Watmaugh is one of these mentioned. He goes on to say "In commemorating the names of these men who have given their lives for the service of their country, the college wishes to express its deep regret at their loss, its sincere and cordial sympathy with the relatives, and its grateful recognition of the heroism that have been displayed. I like manner it places on record its sympathy with those who have been wounded or captured, and offers its heartiest good wishes for their speedy restoration to health and freedom."

Source : Newcastle Journal Tuesday, 05/10/1915.

South Shields Council Minutes. July to December 1915, page 138.

"Death of Lieut. Watmough

The circumstances of the death of Lieut. J.C. Watmough, 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers, formerly a member of the staff of the Barnes Boy's School, who met his death in the trench warfare in France on the 10th July were reported."

2nd Lieutenant Watmough was killed by a sniper on the 10th July 1915, aged 26.

His mother Helen Mary died on the 17th February 1919, and her will was administered by Henry Francis Watmough, she left effects of 414 2s 3d.

He is remembered in Alnwick A11.43 page 9 at Newcastle NUT063, at Heaton on H91.05, H91.41, at Harton on H104.03, Teachers who Served and Teachers who Fell


South Shields Grammar School
The CWGC entry for 2nd Lieutenant Watmough

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk