THE LATE COL. WATT.
TRIBUTES IN CHURCH AND
One of the largest and most representative funerals in the history of Randwick took place yesterday afternoon, when the remains of the late Colonel Walter Oswald Watt were committed to their last resting-place. Every section of the A.I.F. forces was represented, and also the warships in port. Members of the Australian Flying Corps were prominent. St. Jude's Church was crowded long before the service commenced at 4 o'clock. Some hundreds were unable to get into the church grounds. So many wreaths had been sent that the coffin was completely covered with flowers. A Union Jack fluttered at half-mast
from the old church tower.
The Rev. W. J. Cakebread, with full choir in attendance, conducted the service. Two hymns were sung, "The King of Love my Shepherd is" and "Abide with Me."
Brigadier-General Jobson delivered a brief address. He said they had met there to do honour to a great man. Colonel watt was one of the very first to offer his services to the Empire on the outbreak of the great war, and afterwards offered his services, which were accepted, to France. That country had expressed its appreciation of his work by awarding him one of the highest marks of distinction. No soldier, be he a member of the Australian Flying Corps or a Digger, ever asked Colonel Watt for help which he did not freely give, at the same time helping them with his counsel and advice. He never talked about what he had done for his coun- try, nor of his achievements. His memory would be honoured by all who knew him as a good man and a great soldier.
At the end of the service the organist, Mr. Arnold Mote, M.A., played Chopin's Funeral March. The coffin was then carried and placed on a gun-carriage in the street.
An incident which might well be described as appropriate, with a touch of the poetic, oc- curred just before the service in the fine old church. From an aeroplane, hovering grace- fully and flying low, a small parachute was dropped with a wreath and card attached. This unexpected tribute of regard and regret "from the skies," so to speak, must have impressed all who saw the wreath detached from the parachute and placed with the other flowers. As the form and expression of the sorrow of Australian airmen individually and collectively, the wreath which descended slow- ly from above was more eloquent in its sug- gestive symbolism than any words could have
In the procession from St. Jude's to "the quiet churchyard" after the service the sim- plicity of an old-time village burial was com- bined in a striking manner with the pomp and circumstance of a naval and military funeral. Everyone, including the female mourners, was on foot. There was a glamour rather than a gloom as the remains of the distinguished Australian airman were borne to their last resting-place in the hush of the twilight and with the shades of night fast falling upon those who were paying the final tribute to the ever-brave, ever-generous, and always patriotic Colonel Watt.
A cross-bearer was followed by the clergy and choir boys. The family mourners and relatives were next. Then, with slow and steady step, marched a fine body of men from H.M.A.S. Melbourne and H.M.A.S. Brisbane— the band of the Melbourne with them. These young-looking men in blue walked with reversed arms. The remains of Colonel Watt were covered on a gun-carriage by a Com- monwealth flag and a pall of beautiful flowers. The gun-carriage, which had been sent from Victoria Barracks, was drawn by six black horses. Walking at either side of the gun- carriage were officers, some with decorations, who had served in the war as airmen. This was a fitting guard of honour. The airmen were in uniform; so were the officers and men of other services during the war who walked in khaki after the gun-carriage. A number of civilians, not a few old personal friends of the deceased among them, com- pleted the procession.
The principal mourners were Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Watt (brother and sister-in-law), Miss Pauline Watt (niece), Mrs. Walter Watt (aunt), Mrs. Weston (cousin), Miss Helen Watt (cousin), Dr. and Mrs. Brady, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Knox, the Misses Knox, Mr. John Gilchrist, Dr. and Mrs. Jamieson, Mr. and Mrs. James Burns, Captain C. M. Young, Mr. S. Richardson, Mr. David Mills, Captain Cowell, and Mr. Neville Dangar.
The naval forces were represented by Flag- Captain Cumberlege, Commander Feakes, Commander Lambton (president of the Im- perial Service Club), Lieutenant-Commander Burrough, of H.M.A.S. Melbourne. There were officers present from the warships in port. Lieutenant Collins, of the Melbourne, had charge of the firing party. The military representatives included Brigadier-General Jobson, Brigadier-General Sir Charles Rosen- thal, Brigadier-General M'Glinn, Colonel Dick, Colonel Arnott, Colonel Rutledge. M.L.A., Colonel Thornthwaite (representing the Base Commandant), Colonel Pearce (representing the Repatriation Department), Colonel Ra- bett (vice-president Imperial Service Club)), Colonel Eames Colonel F. Osborne, Colonel Wall, Lieutenant-Colonel Travers, Lieutenant- Colonel Reynolds, Lieutenant-Colonel Jamie- son, Major Blake, Major Ross, Captain Ro- bertson, Lieutenant Arnott, Lieutenant Mard- nell, Lieutenant Warneford, A.F.C., Lieuten- ant Cowell, and Lieutenant Walker. Various units of the A.F.C. Aerial Club and Royal Automobile Club were in attendance.
The directors of Gilchrist, Watt, and Co., who attended the funeral were Messrs. A. J. Simpson and G. Hewison. Gilchrist, Watt, and Sanderson, Limited, was represented by Messrs. J. B. Milne (managing director), Mr. S. J. Clarence (managing director), Mr. O. L. M'Cloy (shipping manager), E. A. Lamb (pas- senger department), R. W. D. Towns (secre- tary), and Messrs. A. T. Hall, B. A. Oslear, G. S. Freeman, and G. A. Mather.
Among others who assisted in the last tri- bute were Sir Thomas Hughes, M.L.C., Mr. Alex. Hay, M.P., Mr. Joseph Playoust (presi- de l'Union Francaise), Mr. J. W. Scott Fell, Dr. Reddall, Mr. J. O. Fairfax, Mr .Gordon Wesche, Mr. Q. L. Deloitte, Mr. Arthur Allen, Mr. Reginald Allen, Mr. E. J. Bayly Macarthur, Monsignor T. King (ex A.I.F. chaplain) Rev. Father Murphy (ex A.I.F. chaplain), Mr. Nigel Love (representing the Australian Aircraft and Engineering Company), Mr. Charles R. Car- rick (assistant manager, representing the Central Wharf Stevedoring Co.), Mr. Cop- land Lethbridge (manager Perpetual Trustee Co., Ltd.), Mr. H. W. Corry (director Com- monwealth and Dominion Line), Mr. R. Ver- non Saddington (Australian Alum Co., Ltd.), Captain Arkley Smith (acting secretary Royal Shipwreck Society), Captain James Peter (re- presenting Mr. J. P. Franki), W. P. Fraser (representing Harrison, Jones, and Devlin), Mr. R. J. Law (representing H. S. Birt and Co., Ltd.), Mr. Montgomerie Severn, Mr. W. H. Rothe, Mr. F. Cornish, Messrs. B. Burde- kin, G. M. Merriman, Douglas L. Dowdell, P. A. Rabbett, Victor Cohen, A. Strange-Muir, W. H. Palmer, H. Jefferson, W. P. Fraser, F. H. Williams, G. W. Lawson (treasurer Aerial Club), W. Barnes, H. Villar, H Deane, E. A. Carter, A. Carroll, J. Guthrie, Roy Allen, R. R Moss, R. Fowler, and W. Olliffe.
At the gates of the churchyard eight officers took the coffin on their shoulders and carried it to the Watt family vault. These pall-bearers were:—Major Blake, Major Scott, M.C., Captain Malley, M.C., A.F.C., Captain Holden, M.C., A.F.C., Lieut. Chateau, Lieut. Macdonald, Lieut. Trim, and Lieut. Mulroney
—all flying men.
It is a question whether on any other solemn occasion so many persons, men and women, had ever gathered in the little burial ground under the shadow of old St. Jude's. All stood in silence while the burial service was conducted by the Rev. W. J. Cakebread, assisted by the Rev. Frank Cash, at the weather-stained stone tomb.
The rector of St. Jude's spoke a few touch- ing works before the coffin was lowered to the vault. They were laying to rest in that old cemetery, he said, one of Australia's bravest sons, who had distinguished himself as an officer in the Australian Flying Corps. In the solemn church service, in the flag half-mast high, in the aeroplane, flying over the church, and in that large assemblage, the memory was honoured of a man who had passed through countless dangers for the Em- pire, and for the country he loved so well: a man without thought of self, who, apart from his splendid war service, was always thinking of others, and how he could help them.
Two buglers sounded the "Last Post" at the conclusion of the address. After the coffin had been placed in the vault, all the officers and men in khaki "saluted the dead," the pall-bearers leading the way.
The numerous wreaths included the follow- ing:—"Laurel from Bertha," Tim and Bertha (Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Watt); Jimmy (son), England; Felicity and Jimmy, Pauline, Pamela, Mrs. Margaret Caldwell, Mrs. Gordon Cald- well, Mrs. Bethune (sisters), England; "Nieces in England"; Eileen Watt, Mr. Harry Cald- well (nephew), Mrs. P. C. Watt and family, Helen Watt, "His old nurse" (Ward), Gil- christ, Watt, and Sanderson, Ltd.; staff of Gilchrist, Watt, and Sanderson, Ltd., Gilchrist, Watt, and Co., Wills, Gilchrist, and Sander- son Ltd. (Brisbane), John Sanderson and Co. (Melbourne), George Wills and Co., Ltd. (Adelaide), Misses Knox, Mr. John Gilchrist and family, Commodore Commanding, Captain, and officers H.M.A. Fleet, the Consul-General for France, Dr. and Mrs. Brady, Major Gor- don Brady, Dr. and Mrs. E. W. Fairfax, Dr. and Mrs. Marsh, Dr. and Mrs. George Watt, secretary and staff Union Club, directors and staff Aerial Co., Ltd., Imperial Service Club, Dr. and Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, and the Aus- tralian Flying Corps.
The flag at the Soldiers' Club was flown half-mast yesterday as a token of respect and esteem to the late Colonel Watt.