John Allen WATTERS

Year of Birth:  1893

Place of Birth:  Limestone, North Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  1 February 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  18 May 1916, Sydney, New South Wales

Ship:  HMAT Demosthenes A84

Rank:  Private

Unit(s): 41st Infantry Battalion

Regimental Number:  313

Died:  5 October 1917


Private John Allen Watters – photo courtesy of AWM


John Allen Watters was born in Limestone Queensland, on the 10 December 1893 to James Watters and Caroline Jones. James and Caroline married in 1888. There were 12 children in his family. Mary Izatta 24 February 1890, William Henry 22 December 1891, then John Allen 1893, Robert James 31 October 1896, Elizabeth 20 February 1899, Joseph 9 April 1900, Charles Leslie 20 May 1901, Philip Dominic Augustine 10 May 1902, Caroline Monica 28 May 1904, Edmund Russell 16 November 1906, Thomas Francis 21 September 1908, and George Vincent 19 July 1911

Two of John Allen’s brothers enlisted in WW1, William Henry (B2455:1822), wounded in action, and Robert James (B2455: 1509 1449) wounded twice. Robert James also served in E.Coy Kennedy Regiment before enlisting in the AIF.  Both returned home safely. His brother Phillip Dominic Augustine (B883: QX12866) served in WW2 and achieved the rank of Corporal. Philip Dominic died a POW on the 26 June 1943 and is buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.

John Allen’s father, James, a well-known and respected miner and a licensed victualler, died 3 March 1922 and was buried in Cooktown. His mother Caroline and sisters Elizabeth (Nancy) and Caroline Monica moved to Brisbane where his mother, Caroline, died on the 7 March 1942.

At the time of John Allen’s enlistment he gave his age as 22 years 1 month and his occupation as a labourer. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs. C. Watters, Sheridan Street, Cairns. His height was 5 feet 8 inches, weighed 146 pounds with grey eyes, black hair and dark complexion. He gave his religion as Roman Catholic.

John Allen Watters was killed in action on the 5 October 1917 at Passchendaele, Ypres, Belgium. There is no known grave but he is commemorated on the  Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres Flanders, Belgium.


HMAT Demothenes A84 – photo courtesy AWM



AWM Red Cross & Wounded


Cairns Post, 3 January 1918, p5


Cairns Post 5 October 1919 – p4


Online Resources

Queensland Birth Death & Marriage Index

NAA: B2455, Watters, John Allen.  National Archives of Australia

AWM: Photograph of John Allen Watters P11519.01s

Photograph of the HMAT Demosthenes A84, Australian War Memorial

AWM Red Cross Wounded & Missing

Trove Digitised Newspapers, National Library of Australia


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