July 24, 1917
Official news has been received by Mr. Thomas Watson, boot dealer, of 160, Manchester Road, Ince, that is only son, Gunner Wilfred Watson, has been killed in action. Gunner Watson, who was 24 years of age, was before enlisting manager of the business of his father at the shop at Ince Bar.
He received his education at the Ince Central Schools, and was actively associated with the Sunday School of the Parish Church. After he left Ince for the front, the officials of the school handed to his parents the gold medal for which he had qualified by fourteen years’ regular attendance and good conduct.
He was a noted Association football player, being a regular player of Liverpool’s first team. In May, 1916, he played in the Liverpool v Everton match for the benefit of the Lord Mayor’s Charity Fund for the windows and children of the fallen soldiers and sailors, for which he received a “gold medal.”
The following letter has been received from the Sergeant of the battery: – “It is with feelings of deepest sympathy, shared by all who were acquainted with Wilfred that I write on behalf of the signallers to convey to you our sorrow in your great loss. To say that his was a disposition to be loved is to state just the feelings we held towards him, and we therefore can appreciate in some degree the severity of the blow which has been inflicted upon you.
“His generosity and great-heartedness were traits in his character which we shall always cherish in our memory of him, and his brave and noble soul will remain as an inspiration to all who had companionship with him. We know how he loved you, and we pray that the thought of his great love may enable you to have communion with his soul, though departed from this life, and that the God who gave will thereby eternally bless you, and enable you to bear the absence of his earthly body.
“With sincerest feelings of regret which all of us have in losing such a good comrade. On behalf of the Signallers of the Battery.”
(Source: Wigan Observer: August 11, 1917)
Gunner Wilfred Watson (Wigan Observer: August 11, 1917).