Watts | Thomas James

  • First names

    Thomas James

  • Age

    25

  • Date of birth

    1919

  • Date of death

    14-10-1944

  • Service number

    2064419

  • Rang

    Serjeant

  • Regiment

    Royal Engineers, 246 Field Coy.

  • Grave number

    III. C. 12.

Thomas James Watts
Thomas James Watts
graf thomas-james-watts
graf thomas-james-watts


Biography

Son of Leonard Charles en Lillian Watts from Cardiff. Husband of Megan Noreen Watts from Cardiff.

Thomas James Watts served with 246 Field Coy.
Bryan Guy, explained as a witness several decades later:

“It was at the time that we first encountered a new type of German Anti-tank mine, we called “Riegl”-mines. A long, sandy coloured boxed with enormous power.
In this corner of Overloon, hundreds of these mines had been lifted and stacked everywhere, in ditches, on top of the ground, all over the place.”

“While we were there, enemy fire was coming down on us. It was very dangerous, the place was infested with mines. An officer told us to wait for a reliable man who would try to take this new mine apart, because we had no idea if they were booby trapped or had any ‘anti handling devices’.”

“After talking the matter over for a while, the officer and me went off with my motor-bike. After a couple of seconds, from behind us there was a huge explosion. We immediately dragged the bike round and set off back, only to find that all the mines had blown up and everyone with it.”

“We do not know if Sgt. Watts and Sgt. Rees decided to investigate the mines themselves, or if (more likely) they had been hit with a mortar bomb that had set off all the mines. When we arrived they were all dead, and all had been killed instantaneously.”

“Death often comes quickly and unexpectedly. Our friends that we had been talking to minutes before, had gone.”

Thomas James Watts was temporary buried at fam. Steeghs Hazenbroekscheweg, Vierlingsbeek. In May 1947 he was reburied at Overloon War Cemetery.

Noreen war-widow-thomas-watts

Sources and credits

Bryan Guy (WWII-veteran, died in 2019), BBC News (article 29 april 2002) and Oscar Huisman.

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