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Jack Watson was born in Patterdale in October 1888 and baptised at St Patrick’s Church on 14th October. His father was a gardener on the Patterdale Hall estate and lived at Grassthwaite How., with his wife Mary who was one of the Pattinson “clan”. Jack had an elder sister Frances (born in 1886) and a younger sister Mary Elizabeth born in 1892. Jack would have attended Patterdale School with his sisters and then by 1911 was working as a journeyman gardener and living in Thwaite Hill, Pooley Bridge.
John enlisted in the second formation of the 4th (Cumberland and Westmorland) Infantry Battalion of the Border Regiment in September 1914 and was given the Regimental Number 2877 (although this was changed in 1920 to 201478). After basic training, the Battalion was shipped to India in March 1915, alongside fellow dalesmen including Frank Brown, Fred Dewis and Jack Bell. We know that the 2/4 Border Regiment served in India and Afghanistan from early 1915 to 1919.
From March 1916 the battalion was stationed in and around Peshawar, and then took part in the Mohmand Blockade from February to May 1917. We know from Jack’s medals that he won the North West Frontier Service clasp to his India General Service medal, which means he took part in the Third Anglo-
Following his demobilisation Jack moved to Keswick, where he once again became a gardener including a spell at Armathwaite Hall. Jack’s father died in 1927 aged 72 at Grisedale Bridge and his mother continued to live in Patterdale until her death aged 81 on the 26th December 1932, at which point she was living in the Township Patterdale opposite the White Lion Inn. Jack married Mary Cowperthwaite on the 22nd September 1920 in Crossthwaite. Mary was the sister of Annie Cowperthwaite, who is the mother of John Scoon, who lived in Patterdale until his recent death and was for many years the head teacher at Patterdale School. John’s father William also served throughout the war in the Royal Engineers, having been in the territorials before the war. Jack was also a keen follower of the hounds, and was the proud owner of a champion hound called Welfare. Our thanks to John for providing this information and the photo below.
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Corporal John (Jack) Watson
2877/201478 Border Regiment
Born October 1888, Patterdale.
Son of Henry and Mary (nee Pattinson) Watson, Grassthwaite How, Grisedale Bridge and The Township Patterdale
Married Mary Cowperthwaite (22nd September 1920), and lived in Keswick
William Scoon, (Jack’s brother in law) in a regimental football line up before the war. He is in the back row, second from right.
Jack’s Medal Index Card