Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 15, 2019
Webpage updated: September 15, 2019




James Paton Watson was born in Dundee, Scotland, on January 14th 1898. 

The 1901 Census shows that he came from a large family.  His parents, Mr George Watson, a printer compositor, and Mrs Margaret Watson, eight sons and two daughters.  Only the two eldest sons were in employment: George Thomas Watson, aged 19 years, as an assistant bookkeeper, and Albert J Watson, aged 17, as an apprentice accountant.

Mr James Paton Watson married Miss Rose Masson Bethia Lee, at the Parish Church of Saint John, Perth, Scotland, on October 24th 1933.  The ceremony was conducted by the bride's father, the Reverend Walter E Lee.

James became the Borough Engineer and Surveyor at South Shields in 1928 and then was appointed the Borough and Water Engineer at Scarborough in 1934.   In 1936 he gained the appointment as Plymouth's City Engineer.  He and his wife lived at number 8 Vapron Road, Plymouth, in 1939, but being Very Important Persons in Plymouth during the Blitz, they moved outside the City for safety.

During the Second World War he worked with Sir (Leslie) Patrick Abercrombie (1879-1957) on the "Plan for Plymouth", which he was responsible for carrying out during most of the period of reconstruction.  He was awarded the CBE in the New Year's honours list of 1946.

He retired on December 31st 1958 and died at Newton Ferrers, Devon, on Saturday May 12th 1979.