Alexander Herd Watt
8th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Died 23rd June 1915. Aged 22
Private A. H. Watt – Gordon Hrs.
Alexander Herd Watt (No S/4856) of the 8th Bn. Gordon Highlanders, was in fact a Corporal, not a Private. He came from Huntly, and his connection to the parish of Kincardine O’Neil is that he was signalman at Torphins before the war. He was born on 3 August 1892, son of a railway labourer, William Watt, and his wife Helen who lived at Bridgend, Kinnoir, and later 58 Bogie Street, Huntly. In 1901 he was the middle child of three, having an older brother and younger sister. He is probably the Alexander Watt who appears in the 1911 census as a boarder in the household of George Milne, Crofter, at Little Haddoch, employed by the Great North of Scotland Railway as a porter – maybe at the nearby station of Cairney on the Keith-Huntly line. His fellow boarder was a signalman.
Watt enlisted as a volunteer shortly after the outbreak of war, joining the 8th Gordons who were formed at Aberdeen in August 1914 as a part of Kitchener’s New Army of volunteers. After training they landed at Boulogne on 10 May 1915. They were attached to 26th Brigade in the 9th (Scottish) Division – first of the new volunteer Divisions. He was in France for only 6 weeks and (according to press reports at the time) had been at the front for a short time only before dying of wounds on 23 June 1915 aged 22.
He is buried or commemorated at Lillers Communal Cemetery, and his name also appears on the War Memorial at Huntly and on the memorial plaque to railway employees at Aberdeen Joint Station.