Watkins, George Edgar (Sergeant, b.1892 - d.1967)

Place Europe: France
Accession Number PR03847
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 7 wallets: 11 cm
Object type Diary, Letters, Photograph, Service papers, Map
Maker Watkins, George Edgar
Place made France
Date made 1916 -1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the First World War service of 1010 Sergeant George Edgar Watkins, who served with the Scout Section of 39 Battalion. Collection comprises an extensive collection of papers, including diaries, letters, postcards, maps and photographs.

Folder 1 - Documents (official and private), letters, memorabillia, and souvenirs from German trenches.

Folder 2 - Postcards. Commercially produced, mostly of buildings and scenes in France and Belgium. Original comments such as "These views are well known to me" and later annotations (in biro) such as (of Messines) "A fairly large town and after the battle just like a large brickyard. I knew this part well and had some anxious moments around here". Many showing 'before and after the bombardment' comparisons. Date range 14 July 1916 at sea - 13 March 1919 Salisbury Plain. 51 with inscriptions, 56 without.

Folder 3 - Notebook containing notes made during a Scout Training Course at the Corps School at Le Crotoy in July 1918. Two maps and a perspective drawing produced during the same training course.

Folder 4 - The Subaltern's Handbook of Useful Information; 2 Soldier's Paybooks.

Folder 5 - Two Diaries. The first, covering the period from embarkation on 27 May 1916 - 24 June 1917; the second, from 25 June 1917 - 31 December 1917. Entries cover the voyage, training, leave, conscription vote, scout training, mail sent and received, billets, scout patrols, trench raids, battles .

Folder 6 - Two Diaries. The first, covering the period 1 January 1918 - 31 December 1918. Entries cover leave, scout training, patrols, battles, billets. The second diary, The Boy Scout's Note Book and Diary, contains brief duplicate entries for 1917.

Folder 7 - Maps and Air Photos. France, Sheet 62D N.E., Edition 2 1:20,000 (Dernancourt, Ville-sur-Ancre, etc) with glossary of French words for map features; North West Europe Sheet 4 1:250,000, (Mons, Leon); Wiancourt Edition 1A 1:20,000 trench map, (Le Catelet, Bellicourt) (19.9.18); France Sheet 62D N.E. 1:20,000 (Dernancourt, Bray-sur-Somme)(28.5.18); German map Ravensteins Kriegskarte No. 34 1:150,000 (Bapaume, Albert, Amiens, Noyon).

Watkins was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1918 for 'conspicuous gallentry and devotion to duty... as leader of numerous patrols he has been the means of securing valuable information in 'No Man's land' and at all times he has set a very fine example of coolness and complete fearlessness'. Watkins returned to Australia in 1919.