Born: 4th June 1853, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland.

Died: 6th January 1900; age: 46; KiA – leading a charge at dawn at Suffolk Hill, Colesberg, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Residence: 17, Victoria Park, Dover, Essex.



Entered the 12th Foot – August 1873.

Instructor of Musketry to his battalion from February 1880 – January 1883.

Promoted Captain –  April 1883.

Brigade-Major – served with the Bechuanaland Expedition under Major-General Sir Charles Warren, 1884-1885. Mentioned in Despatches.

Egyptian Army – February 1886.

Promoted Major – October 1886.

Brigade-Major – First Column – served with the Hazara Expedition under Brigadier-General George Nicholas Channer, against Kala Dhaka – 1888. Mentioned in Despatches.

Served as road Commandant on the lines of communications with the Chitral Relief Force at the Fort of Chitral – 1895 – under General Sir Robert Cunliffe Low.

Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in Bengal – July 1889 – February 1896.

Promoted Lieutenant-Colonel – September 1898 and obtained command of the Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion.


Date of Entry Therein: November 1899 – South Africa.


Rank: Lieutenant-Colonel.

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 1st Battalion, South Africa Field Force.


Medals and Clasps Awarded: Hazara Expedition medal with clasp & Chitral Relief Force medal with clasp + Cape Colony.


Father: William James Watson, born February 1804, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland – died April 1883, Dublin, of 25, Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin.

Mother: Sarah Watson (nee Morgan), born 1812, Dublin, Leinster, Ireland – died 1885, Dublin, of 25, Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin.


On the 5th December 1887, at Christ Church, Rawalpindi, Bengal, India, Arthur married Fairlie Caroline Gordon Anderson, born April 1859, Genoa, Liguria, Italy. They had 3 daughters:

Fairlie Estella Caroline Watson, born December 1888, Simla, Bengal, India.

Sylvia Fairlie Douglas Watson, born September 1890, Ranikhet, Bengal, India.

Violet Agnes Fairlie Watson, born April 1894, Dalhousie, Bengal, India.


Probate to Sir William Watson – brother, a Knight Bachelor J.P. and Managing Director  of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company.


Arthur is also remembered on a private memorial at the Suffolk Regimental Chapel, St. Mary’s Church, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, and on his widow, Fairlie Wilson’s grave at Colchester Cemetery, Essex.

One of the notable Battles with a large loss of Suffolk life was the “Battle of Suffolk hill” at Colesberg, Northern Cape 5th- 6th January 1900. The hill was originally called Red or Grassy Hill. The Suffolk regiment was ordered to make a night attack on a Boer position on the heights, four companies, 354 of all ranks, set out at midnight under the command of Col. Watson. The Suffolks were met by a storm of bullets. The Colonel was amongst the first to fall, and the party later retired with 11 officers and 150+ men killed, wounded or captured.

The Boer War.

Suffolk Regiment 

Posted in BOER WAR, Suffolk Regiment

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