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Watson, John Mortimer

John Mortimer Watson was the youngest son of Dr. Henry Watson of Worcester. He was educated at Epsom College where he became head of his house, and at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he held the De Haviland Scholarship. He entered King’ s College Hospital in 1935 from where he qualified M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. three years later. Soon after qualifying he took a six months appointment as Resident Surgical Officer and House Surgeon to Mr. Joll at the Royal Bucks Hospital, Aylesbury. Following this he returned to King’ s in July 1939 as House Surgeon to Mr. Hunken and Mr. Kendall. With the outbreak of war he was put in charge of the new first aid post at King’ s, where he was a great success due, amongst other things, to his tact. He left King’ s early in 1940 to take up his commission in the Navy and his last visit to the Hospital was in February, just before he was sent out to the Mediterranean. At the Hospital two of his great interests were the sailing club and the musical society. Soon after he first entered the Hospital he became one of the mainstays of the technical side of the King’ s shows, and without his help the last Christmas show at King’ s could never have been staged. Throughout his time in the Navy he was on H.M.S. Diamond, and it was during the evacuation of Greece when the destroyer was sunk by enemy action that he lost his life. King’ s College Hospital Gazette, August 1941

Biographical

Surname(s)Watson
First name(s)John Mortimer
Date of birth1913
Place of birthWorcester
Family detailsSon of Henry Allan Watson and Kathleen Alice Watson, of Worcester.
Previous educationEpsom College; Trinity Hall, Cambridge
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1935
Dept / courseFaculty of Medicine
QualificationsM.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. 1938
Military unitRoyal Naval Volunteer Reserve, H.M.S. Diamond
Date enlistedEarly 1940
War / conflictWorld War Two (1939-1945)
Date of death27/04/1941
Age at death27
Rank at deathSurgeon Lieutenant
Commemoration(s)Plymouth Naval Memorial; St. George, Claines, Worcester Roll of Honour
NotesOn 26 April 1941, under the command of Lt. Commander Cartwright, Diamond rescued 600 troops from Crete after their transports were attacked. The following day, HMS Diamond and another destroyer, HMS Wryneck, attempted to rescue troops from a sunk Dutch troop ship, the Slamat. However, both ships were attacked and sunk by German Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers. Approximately 253 officers and crew, as well as 700 troops were lost from both vessels. Only 23 survivors were rescued. Wikipedia.
SourcesKing’ s College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; wikipedia

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