Jack Eric Watkins

Jack Eric Watkins ©

Jack Eric Watkins ©

Date of birth: 15th February 1899
Place of birth: Winchester
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Lieutenant
Service: Royal Air Force
Squadron: 67th Wing
Died: 30th August 1918 aged 18 years
Death location: Austria





This photograph is © Richard Taunton Sixth Form College. Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group have received permission to reproduce this photograph and extracts from the narrative on the Old Tauntonians’ online War Memorial:http://www.ota-southampton.org.uk/memorial/index.html

Please do not reproduce the photograph or any wording from this page.  If you want permission to use this photograph or narrative please contact the College on email@richardtaunton.ac.uk.


Life before the War
Jack was the eldest of four children born to parents Samuel George, born 1875 and baptised on 2nd May 1875, Walsall, Staffordshire, and Florence, nee Pitman, born 1879, Bassett, Southampton.  Samuel and Florence married in 1899.

Jack’s siblings – 2 sisters and 1 brother – were:

Hector Mac b.16th November 1900 and d.1990.  On the 30th September 1916 Hector joined the Royal Naval Reserves on board the Afrikander, working as an Assistant Paymaster.  On 1st October 1917, he became a Sub-Lieutenant.

Lucie Olive b.1903

Dorothy b.24th January 1907 and d.1993


In the 1891 and 1901 censuses the family lived at Alton, Hampshire, where Samuel was employed as a Prudential Agent.

In 1911 Samuel was an Inmate in H.M. Prisons, County Gaol & Convict Prison, Maidstone, Kent.  He gave his occupation as a Cycle and Motor Dealer which was his own business prior to being sentenced to prison.  While his father was in prison Jack had been sent to live with his grandparents George and Hannah McManus at 23, Avenue Road, Southampton.  George worked for the Civil Service as a Postal Telegraphs.


War Service

Old Tauntonians’ Memorial Roll

Time at Taunton’s School: 1910 – 1915

Education and Employment: Jack was born on 15th February 1899 in Winchester. While at Taunton’s he participated in the French exchange programme. He won prizes for attendance and was linesman for the school football team.

Life during the war: Jack’s family lived in Alton when his siblings were born but after his father was imprisoned, Jack went to live with his grandparents in Southampton. He took his Aviators Certificate in June 1917 at the Royal Naval Air Station in Redcar. Jack was a Flight Lieutenant in the 67th Wing of the Royal Air Force and was mentioned in Despatches. He was killed in action in Austria and is buried in Salonika Military Cemetery.

 Jack died on 30th August 1918 aged 18 years.


National Probate Calendar
“Watkins Jack Eric of 53 Portswood Road Southampton Lieutenant R.A.F. died 30 August 1918 in Austria. Administration (with Will) London 2 August 1919 to Hannah McManus (wife of George McManus). Effects £86 2s 6d”

Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery

Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery

Salonika Memorial Register
Watkins, Lt. Jack Eric. Mentioned in Despatches. 67th Wing Royal Air Force. Killed in action 30th Aug., 1918. Age 18. Grandson of Mr. and Mrs. George McManus, of Southampton”







Royal Aero Club Aviators’ CertificatePortrait-photo-of-Jack-Eric
Watkins, Jack Eric
24, Hanley Road, Southampton

Born:                                                              15th February 1899 at Winchester
Nationality:                                              British
Rank, Regiment, Profession:     Flight officer, R.N.
Certificate taken on:                        Curtiss Biplane
At:                                                                    Royal Naval Air Station, Redcar
Date:                                                              15th June 1917



Royal Flying Corps
Jack was promoted to Temporary Probationary Flight Officer on 13th March 1917. He was serving at Cranwell.

For his service to his country, Jack was entitled to the Victory and British Service Medal.


Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 6th September 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

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