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Person Details
Worksop, Notts
Luke Woodward Watkinson was born in Worksop in late 1895 to Charlotte Watkinson, (sometimes called Lottie or Carlotta). Being unmarried, she quickly married a few months later, to William Woodward, a Worksop man 10 years her senior. 5 years later, they were still living in Worksop at 65 Low Town Street, a street where Charlotte had spent some of her childhood. As Luke had been bought up with his stepfather, he was sometimes referred to Luke Woodward Watkinson. By 1911 the family were residing at 1 Court 7 Norfolk Street, Worksop and Luke was working as a pit pony driver as a 16 year old boy.
05 May 1916
277600 - CWGC Website
Lance Corporal
10th Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Corporal Watkinson Worksop Guardian 12 May 1916 To the long list of Worksop men who have fallen in battle in France, must be added the name of Corpl Watkinson, 6 Vine Terrace, Newgate Street, Worksop. He was 20 years of age and before the war was a miner at Manton. The manner in which Watkinson met his death is narrated by Lieut. John W Davidson in a letter he forwards, together with one deceased had written to his people at home, which he found on his body. “In losing Corpl Watkinson,” he says, “I lose one of my best men and most willing workers. He volunteered for and evening party with me in front of our lines last Thursday night. We were caught by heavy machine gun fire, and Corpl Watkinson was hit and died in about five minutes before I could get him back to the trenches. Corporal Watkinson Worksop Guardian 19 May 1916 Corpl Woodward Watkinson of the 10th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, whose death in action in France was reported in our last issue, was the son of Mrs Woodward, 11 West Street, Worksop. He enlisted on August 12th 1914 and was ultimately drafted out to Egypt. He was in hospital at Alexandria and invalided home. After a short furlough he rejoined his regiment and went to France where he died a soldiers death. In a letter to his mother, Captain Gilbert, deceased’s commanding officer says, “He was a plucky lad and was all the more regretful because he had voluntary took another man’s place in the evening party. We shall miss him because he was so bright and cheerful. His platoon officer he was one of the best NCO’s, but he * write to you and tell you all he can because he was in charge of the party that night. The Officers and the Company tender you the deepest sympathy in your bereavement.” Mrs Woodward also received a letter from Lieut. John Davidson in which he says that being deceased’s Platoon Commander he came more close to touch with him than any other officer and fully realised his sterling worth. ”His loss is a great blow to me and I appreciate what it must be to you and all his relatives. He was always a most cheery and willing worker and a boy I could always fully rely on to do his duty. Knowing I was in need of a Corporal for night wiring parties in front of our lines, he asked if he might go out with me each night. I was only too pleased to have him with me and it was on one of these parties that he was killed. We had been out about fifteen minutes when the Germans turned two machine guns on us and kept up their fire for some time. I heard someone shout and made towards him, when I was really upset to find it was Corpl Watkinson who had been shot through the neck. We did whatever we could for him but he died within five minutes of being hit. With * I got his body back to the trenches. The Germans still kept up their fire. When we go out of the trenches I will take steps to find out where he is buried and let you know. I have taken all his personal belongings and will have same sent on to you as soon as possible. Believe me, Yours sincerely, John Davison D Co, 10th Foresters.” “PS I have ** to you today a card which I found amongst your sons property; it was already *** and I felt sure you would value it.” Luke Watkinson Luke can be seen as typical of the young men who came out as of both duty and adventure volunteered as soon as war was declared on the 4th August 1914, in Luke’s case the 12th August. He was placed in the 9th Sherwood Foresters and trained at Belton Park near Grantham. As part of the 33rd Brigade of the 11th (Northern) Division, the 9th sailed from Liverpool for Gallipoli at the end of June 1915. Landing at Cape Helles on 21 July, their main duty seems to have been the making of good trenches and the burying of 2masses of dead bodies”. After evacuation on 1 August they were relanded as part of the Suvla Bay operation on 6 August. (See notes on Ernest Foley which also apply to Luke Watkinson). Luke was invalided out of Gallipoli apparently unwounded and probably suffering from dysentery. After spending time in hospital in England and enjoying a well earned leave, Luke was directed to the 10th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters on the Western Front where he was promoted to Lance Corporal. The 10th were holding the line “turn and turn” with the 7th Lincs just North of the Armentieres-Lille Road when Luke Watkinson received wounds by shell or sniper fire from which he died on the 5 May 1916. He is buried in Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery at Armen-tieres. Luke had the misfortune of losing his father when a very small child and was bought up on Lowtown Street by his mother and her new husband, William Woodward. There is a possibility that Luke Watkinson is already commemo-rated on the Worksop Memorial as W (for Woodward) Watkinson, but for the avoidance of doubt, his name has been included on the new plaque-better to be remembered twice than not at all Courtesy of Robert Illett
Commemorated on the Site Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France. Research by Colin Dannatt
Remembered on