George Ernest Watts (1885–1941)


Durham Light Infantry 38107  

Photo courtesy Jean Smith

George Ernest Watts

In 1886 George Ernest Watts, known as Ernest, was born at Brampton, on the outskirts of Chesterfield. He was the son of William Watts and Eliza Dawson. By 1911 he was working as a butcher’s assistant while living with relatives in Brampton. At this time his widowed father was living with his daughter at the hamlet of Sawmills, just outside the boundary of the parish of Crich.

Ernest served in the army during the war, with the rank of Private. After he was discharged from the army, he returned to his occupation as a butcher and by 1923 was living in the Derbyshire village of Holloway, close to Crich. Ernest remained a resident of Holloway for the Ernest Watts in later life rest of his life. He was later employed at the Mill Close lead works at Darley Dale and in 1923 he married a widow named Beatrice Ethel Maskrey (née Woodward).

George Ernest Watts was killed in a road accident near High Peak Junction at Cromford on 28th August 1941, aged fifty-five years. At the time he was a pillion passenger on a colleague’s motorbike, returning home from work at Darley Dale. The motorbike had been involved in a collision with another vehicle, which subsequently disappeared from the scene of the accident. Both Ernest and his colleague were killed in the accident.

Medal Index Card
George E Watts, DLI, was awarded the Victory and British War medals.
He enlisted 15 February 1916 and was discharged with the Silver War Badge 10 October 1919 .

Silver War Badge
38107 Pte WATTS George E; Badge B326886; Enlisted 15/2/16; Discharged 10/10/19; served overseas

Newspaper report

Belper News, 12 April 1918
Private G.E. Watts, of the Durham Light Infantry, has been seriously wounded in the leg by shrapnel and is in hospital in Scotland. He had been in France about six months, having joined the Army in July 1916. His residence used to be at Bull Bridge, and his employment was with the Ripley Co-operative Society. He is the son of the late Mr William Watts, of Holymoorside. Mrs W C Sayles, of 37 Sheffield Road Killamarsh, sister of Private Watts and formerly of Bull Bridge, has received official intimation of her only brother's condition. Private Watts was in the butchery department at Ripley Stores and is well-known in the Ambergate, Crich and Ripley district.


1891: Brampton

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Georgina Dawson Head (widow) 68   Brampton
William Dawson son 38 Coal miner Brampton
George E Watts grandson 5   Brampton

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1901: Brampton

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Sarah Watts Head (widow) 67   Nottingham
William Watts son (widower) 39 Foreman cotton mill Brampton
James Watts son 37 Labourer earthenware manu. Brampton
Ernest Watts grandson 15 Butcher's apprentice Brampton
Sarah E Watts grand daughter 13   Brampton

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1911: Brampton

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Albert Watts Head (widow) 41 Butcher Brampton
Stanley Watts son 13   Brampton
William Watts son 12   Brampton
Harry Watts son 9   Brampton
Fred Watts son 5   Brampton
Sarah Watts daughter 7   Brampton
Ernest Watts servant 25 Asssistant butcher Brampton
Florrie Conway servant 36   Chesterfield

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1939 Register: Little London, Holloway
George Ernest Watts b.23 November 1885; lead smelter gas neutralization attendant
Beatrice Ethel Hitchcock (Watts) b.29 August 1891
Beatrice Marie Bartlett (Watts) b.16 November 1928; school