Order of the Medjidie 5th Class Gazetted 3 Apr 1858.
K.C.B. Military Gazetted 30 May 1891.
Admiral Sir George Willes Watson was born in Great Melton, Norfolk on 5 Apr 1827, the son of Rverend Fisher Watson, the vicar of Lancing, Sussex. Joining the Royal Navy in Nov 1841, Watson served as a Volunteer 1st Class aboard H.M.S. Apollo at the capture of Chinkiang and at Nanking as Midshipman of H.M.S. Dido in the boat action with pirates at Sirhassen in 1844. Promoted to Sub-Lieutenant in 1847 and Lieutenant in 1849, Watson was appointed Senior Lieutenant of H.M.S. Royal Albert and Acting Commander of H.M.S. Desperate during the Crimean War, and was present at Kertch and Kinburn and Gazetted on 2 July 1855 as being engaged in the night attack on the sea defences at Sebastopol, with his Order of the Mejidie 5th Class Gazetted 3 Apr 1858. The same year, Watson was recommended by Lord Lyons for the valuable assistance rendered in laying the telegraph cable between Caglieri, Malta and Corfu. He went on to command H.M.S. Peterel in the North America and West Indies Station from 1862 to 1864 and became Captain of H.M.S. Crocodile from 1866 to 1870.
Appointed Flag Captain to the Commander-in-Chief at Sheerness from 1872 to 1875, Watson then became Commodore at Hong Kong from 1876 to 1879 and Captain of the Temeraire from 1879 to 1880. In November 1881 he was appointed Admiral-Superintendent of Chatham Dockyard and then served as Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station from 1888 to 1892, retiring in April of that year. Sir George Watson had married Margaretta, the youngest daughter of General John Campbell, Gordon Highlanders and was justice of the peace for Devon after his retirement from the Navy. He died at Plymmouth on 26 Apr 1897, leaving one son who was serving as a Lieutenant aboard the Icarus in the Pacific.