13 January 2010

Forgotten Hammer

In my last entry I promised more details on Victor Watson, so pin back your ears because I've finally gathered those details . . . . .

Victor Martin Watson, my fourth cousin twice removed, was born in Girton (small village just outside Cambridge) on 10th November 1897, the tenth child (of 12) of Philip & Alice (nee Howe). According to the report in the Cambridge News & Crier on 17th December 2009, he lived in Girton nearly all his life - but in 1901 the family was living in Oakington Road, Histon (just up the road).

Victor served with the Cambridgeshires & the Northamptonshires during the Great War; he enlisted in autumn 1914, with his papers showing him as 5 feet 6 inches tall and 18yrs 11 mths old. However, a quick bit of adding on your fingers will tell you that he was, in fact, two years younger.

I can't help but wonder if he was "found out" as he remained in Home Service for some time; his records suggest that he was finally sent to France in 1918. Unsurprisingly, given his future occupation, he fortunately avoided any major injury and also maintained a perfectly clean disciplinary record! When he was demobbed in June 1919, he returned home to Girton and, in 1923, married Kathleen Smith.

He played football for West Ham United in the 1920s and 1930s, scored 326 goals in 505 games, won seven England caps and played in the "White Horse" FA Cup Final in 1923 (West Ham lost 2-0 to Bolton).

There was a photo of Victor in the paper but I think I'd be pushing my luck to reproduce it here . . . . . so I won't!

Hope it was worth the wait.

More soon.

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