Lance-Corporal A W Watkins DCM

Capt Eve the squadron commander kept an account of his experiences in Mesopotamia. He wrote on 25th Feb 1917 when they were being fired upon: "I wasn't touched - my clothes - by bits of shrapnel, and I got a bullet through my revolver holster and then through my coat - near enough, but I wasn't touched. Corporal Watkins, my signaller, had two or three through his clothes, one of which was stopped in his pocket by his pocket-book."

Watkins himself wrote to Captain Eve's father, the Hon Mr Justice Eve, after the battle of Lajj on 5th March 1917. "I was with your son, the late Captain W H Eve, on the 5th of March, when he was killed, and I was wounded almost directly afterwards. I was his signaller in most of the engagements in which we took part, and I should like to state, sir (although I am not in a proper position to do so), that he was the bravest man I have ever seen under fire, and under whom it was my good fortune to serve."

Watkins saw Captain Eve lying dead on the ground and then realised that he was by himself amongst the enemy. He saw a Turk 5 yards away about to fire at him but he could do nothing, The bullet broke his sword and hit him in the left arm close to the shoulder. His horse Chicko took him back to the lines.

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by Stephen Luscombe