WATSON, Dorothy Mortimer


Dorothy Mortimer WATSON was born in Ilkley, Yorkshire in 18881. Her father Christopher Holmes Watson was a Farm Agent. In 1881 the family were living in Crossbeck Road, Ilkley2. In 1901, aged 13 she was a pupil at the Royal Masonic Institution for Girls in Clapham, London3.

Nursing Service during WW1

Staff Nurse Dorothy Mortimer WATSON joined the Territorial Force Nursing Service in 1915 and served at No. 2 Northern General Hospital in Leeds, and also the East Leeds War Hospital4. Her confidential report stated that she was a:

thoroughly good surgical nurse, reliable and trustworthy. Kind and tactful with her patients4.

In 1916 a request was sent to the hospital asking them to release her for duty overseas in Malta, where she served at the St John Military Hospital.

“St John’s School in Sliema was commenced in 1908 and completed in 1910. It had been used for a short time as barracks for troops but these left on 22 August 1915. On 1 September 1915, the children from the Government Elementary School were moved to the Carmelite Convent in Balluta Bay and the school became St John’s Military Hospital. 50 school rooms arranged on two floors around a quadrangle made excellent wards for 400 patients, which, with the addition of the verandahs provided ample accommodation for 510 patients. St John’s hospital had its own operating theatre and X-ray room and had been fitted out as a surgical hospital. However, it had to become a medical hospital to cope with the large number of enteric cases arriving at Malta. In September 1916, St John’s Hospital increased its beds to 520 beds. It closed in October 1917”5.

In March 1917 she became ill with Measles and died of Measles Toxaemia on March 14th 19174. She is buried in Pieta Military Cemetery, Malta6. There is also a Memorial erected by the staff of the St John’s Military Hospital.


  1.  West Yorkshire Archive Service, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England. Yorkshire Parish Records: 75D85/1/1
  2. England Census 1891:  RG12/ 3528/ 17/28
  3. England Census 1901: RG13/ 460/ 156/ 4
  4. War Office 399/ 15353
  5.  Military Hospitals in Malta during the Great War 1914 — 1918 [WWW] http://www.maltaramc.com/articles/contents/greatwar.html
  6.  Commonwealth War Graves Commission [WWW] http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/116014/WATSON,%20DOROTHY