Who's Who - Sir David Watson

Sir David Watson Sir David Watson (1871-1922) commanded Canadian forces during the First World War, leading 4th (Canadian) Division from April 1916 until the close of the war.

Born on 7 December 1871 in Quebec, Watson was educated at various public schools prior to embarking upon a career as a journalist, becoming Managing Director in 1901 of the Quebec Chronicle.

The previous year, 1900, Watson was gazetted as a Lieutenant with the 8th Royal Rifles of Quebec; ten years later he was appointed its commanding officer with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

With the onset of war in August 1914 Watson was appointed commanding officer of the 2nd Canadian Battalion.  He was next given a brigade command - 5th Canadian Brigade - in September 1915 with the rank of Brigadier-General.

April 1916 brought Watson divisional command of 4th Canadian Division and a promotion to Major-General, finishing the war as the senior divisional commander of the Canadian Corps.

Having been knighted in 1918 Sir David Watson died on 19 February 1922 in Quebec.

Click here to read Watson's assessment of the Canadians' role during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.

A "box barrage" was an artillery bombardment centred upon a small area.

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Who's Who