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Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Eric Leopold Charles Watkins -

Unknown person Name : Eric Leopold Charles Watkins.

Son of Frederic Louis Watkins, and Welly Clarissa Johanna Watkins (née Hahnemann), of Ventnor.

Born 1892, Hornsey, London

(his mother's first name is often mis-transcribed as Nelly)
  Census Information :

1901 : Frederick and Welly Watkins, with their children including Eric aged 8, are at Holmedale, St John's Road, Harrow On The Hill, Middlesex. Frederick Watkins is a Brush Manufacturer.

1911 : family not located

  Service details :

Lieut. Eric Leopold Charles Watkins, 2nd Wessex Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

  Casualty Details :

Died : 2 March 1917 aged 24

Commemorated at : Kirkee 1914-1918 Memorial, India. CWGC record ...
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Ventnor War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle
Watkins Memorial plaque St Catherine's Church, Ventnor.

  Documents and Newspaper cuttings :


Friday, August 20, 1915 Page 1

Captain E.L.C. Watkins has resigned his commission in the Ventnor Cadet Company with effect from 22 July, 1915.


Friday, March 9, 1917 Page 1

The sincerest condolence will be extended to Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Watkins, of South Bank, Park Avenue, in the death of their son, Lieut. Eric Watkins, who has died of disease in India. Lieut. Watkins went on active service with the 4th Hants Howitzer Battery during their long and trying time at Aden. He was an efficient and promising young officer. The circumstances are rendered more melancholy by reason of the fact that his parents received a letter from him only the day before the cable arrived announcing his death. Lieut. Watkins took his degree at Cambridge, and had just left University and entered as a student at the Middle Temple when war broke out. He was only 24.

Page 5

WATKINS. - (By cable) on March 2nd, at Jubbulpore, India, Eric L.C. Watkins, M.A., Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Lieutenant, 2nd Wessex Brigade, R.F.A. (T), the dearly loved eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick L. Watkins, South Bank, Ventnor, aged 24.

Page 5

The late Lieut. Eric Watkins.

Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Watkins have been the recipients of widespread sympathy in the death of their eldest son, Lieut. Eric L.C. Watkins, of the 2nd Wessex Brigade, R.F.A., which occurred at Jubbulpore, India, on March 2nd. The sad news was received by cable on Monday. Lieut. Watkins was well-known in Ventnor, and highly esteemed for his manly qualities and cheerfulness of disposition. Among the men of his Battery he was held in the warmest affection. After leaving Cambridge, where he took his degree, Lieut. Watkins entered as a student at the Middle Temple, and a promising and successful professional career was opening out for him when his Brigade was mobilised for active service. He was a man of fine intellectual calibre and his early death is a great loss.
A memorial service for the late Lieut. Watkins will be held in the Parish Church to-morrow (Saturday) at 3.00 o'clock.


Friday, March 16, 1917 Page 5

MEMORIAL SERVICE. - A solemn memorial service for the late Lieut. Eric Watkins was held at St. Catherine's Parish Church on Saturday afternoon. Among those in the congregation were Mr. F.L. Watkins (father), and Miss Watkins (sister), Mrs. Hahnemann, Rev. J.A. Alloway, Mr. J. Morgan Richards and Mrs. Luck, Mrs. Cummings, Mrs. Colquhoun, Dr. and Mrs. R.J. Roberts, Mrs. Daniel Watney, Mrs. Whitehead, Mr. J.B. Hue, Rev. R.R. Kirby, Colonel Guild, Mr. Lionel Olive and Miss Nancollas, Miss Scrivener, Mrs. Macleod, Miss Evans, Major and Mrs. W.B. Judd (*) and Miss Judd, Mr. and Mrs. F.C.Y. Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Fabian Colenutt, Mr. and Mrs. T. Watson, Mr. A. Whitelaw, Mrs. Dodds, Miss Fishburn, Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Ford, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Sharpe, Mr. G. Burroughs, etc. The service was most feelingly conducted by the Vicar (Rev. R.W. Colquhoun), and the choristers, with Mr. F.J.J. Macey at the organ, led the singing of the special psalm and the hymns "Lead, Kindly Light," and "Fight the good Fight." Mr. Macey played appropriate funeral music while the congregation were assembling, and "O Rest in the Lord" at the close. The service was held at the direct wish of many local friends of the family, and it provided a most solemn and impressive occasion.

(*) Major Judd is buried at Ventnor Cemetery


Friday, March 16, 1917 Page 3

Ventnor District Council.

The Chairman said they had been sorry to hear the sad news that Mr. F.L. Watkins, of Park Avenue, had lost his son, Lieut. Watkins, who had died from disease in India. Lieut. Watkins belonged to the 2nd Wessex Brigade, and it was sad to reflect that of the officers, and non-commissioned officers alone from Ventnor belonging to this brigade, four had died, namely, Lieut. Tozer, Captain Malcolmson, Lieut. Watkins and Sergt. Major Parr. The vote was carried in the usual manner.

(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, April 6, 1917 Page 2

Annual Meeting of the Literary Institution.

On the motion of Miss Malcolm Kerr, seconded by Mr. W.J. Knight, Mr. F.L. Watkins was unanimously re-elected president. In supporting the proposition, Mr. Arthur Saunders proposed a vote of sympathy with the grievous loss to him and to the public in general. The vote was carried in the usual way, and in reply the President said as his son died in the service of his country he could best honour his memory by serving that Institution. If he made mistakes they would be more of the heart than of the mind.

(not all the report has been transcribed)


Friday, April 6, 1917 Page 3

Ventnor District Council.
The following letter was read:
South Bank,
Ventnor, I.W.
March 30th, 1917
Dear Mr. Oakes, - Will you kindly convey to your Council my family's and my sincere thanks for its sympathy with us in our bereavement?
For myself, I feel that I can best honour the memory of my son, who died while serving his country, by rendering whatever service is possible in the town. Believe me to remain,
Yours very truly,


Friday, April 18, 1919 Page 1

The memorial tablet to the late Lieut. E.L.C. Watkins will be dedicated in the Parish Church on Saturday, the 26th, at 3 p.m.


Friday, May 2, 1919 Page 1

The tablet which has been placed in the Parish Church to the memory of Lieut. E.L.C. Watkins, M.A., R.F.A., (son of Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Watkins, St. Maur), was unveiled on Saturday afternoon by the Rev. A.P. Clayton. The tablet is affixed to the wall of the south aisle and is in harmony of design with the memorials to Lieut. W. Tozer and the son of Dr. and Mrs. Robertson.

Page 4

Memorial to the Late Lieut. Watkins.

On Saturday afternoon last a tablet, erected by the family, was unveiled in the Parish Church in memory of Lieut. E.L.C. Watkins, who died in the service of his country in India some two years ago. The choir led the singing of Psalm 56, and the hymns "Fight the good fight" and "Lead kindly light." The Vicar conducted the service. The Rev. A.P. Clayton, who formerly acted as local Chaplain to the Royal Field Artillery, unveiled the tablet, and in doing so said he appreciated the opportunity of bearing testimony to the worth of him whom they met to remember. He could speak with sincerity of the greatness of the loss caused by his death. To know him was to value his friendship and to admire his character, to value his thoroughness in anything he undertook. An ever true and sincere friend, he had left a memory that they would ever cherish.
The tablet, which is of bronze, is the work of Mr. Osborne, engraver, of Ryde, and has been executed with great taste and skill. It bears the following inscription: -
"In ever loving memory of Eric Leopold Charles Watkins, M.A., Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Lieutenant Royal Field Artillery, who died on active service at Jubblepore, C.P., India, March 2nd, 1917, aged 24 years."
The many friends of Lieut. Watkins in Ventnor and neighbourhood will rejoice to know that his memory will be kept in lasting remembrance by this handsome tablet now standing on the walls of St. Catherine's Church. At the call of duty he promptly surrendered what would, undoubtedly, have been a brilliant professional career, and went with his regiment to India, where he succumbed to disease. He was a universal favourite. All who knew him loved and honoured him. Now, after the lapse of two years, we can only once more deplore his early death which adds another tragedy to the long list caused by the great war.

National Probate Calendar 1917
  Additional Information :

Commemorated also at the Emmanuel College, Cambridge, War Memorial

  Acknowledgments :

Janet Griffin for newspaper research

  Page status :
Page last updated : 28 May 2013 - added further newspaper pieces


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