You are on page 1of 93

41/5th Avenue Narromine 2821 21 Dec.

Di Campbell
P.O. Box 171N
Ballarat North 3350 Vic
Dear Di,
Thanks for the email and I do hope you ask Gary Le Rossignol if he is related to
the Watson Le Rossignols. It is an unusual surname and the odds are of a relationship.
The CD is enclosed and I hope you like chess! I enjoyed the week in Sydney at the
library as did Norma. Separate projects but readers side by side. How romantic!?
If all else fails I will contact Steve Perkin of the Herald-Sun again. He put me in contact
with another chess descendant when I was researching F.K. Esling and Steve kicked a
By the way if you are in Melbourne have a fresh look at Flinders Street Railway Station.
Esling built it and for his trouble got air-brushed out of the history. I dont know why but
have my suspicions.
If there are any errors re the Watsons please let me know and I will correct.
Regards and a happy 2013 to you all. Bob Meadley

41/5th Avenue Narromine 2821 21/11/2012

Mr Reg Watson
Rockingham Cottage
7/550 East Derwent Highway
Bowen Park 7016 Tasmania
The Watson Family History
Dear Reg,
Thanks for your letter and book. Most interesting and I read it in one sittingReadable, Honest, Funny and helpful.
Am enclosing my article on this CD for your interest. Its not complete but the missing
items will be more chess and that can be boring to many.
Will improve the family tree with your additions and might add some early photos of
CGMWs ancestors. Acknowledgement to you of course.
I do need a descendant of CGMW to ensure the future shortened article for Australasian
Chess meets their approval. Most of my articles are about long dead chess players yet I
find their lives interesting as I suspect you do of those long gone. For example next time
you go to Melbourne have a look at Flinders Street railway station. It was built by an
engineer and chess champion F.K. Esling who has been air-brushed out of Vic Rail
history. Jenny Davies, author of the latest book on the station Beyond the Faade is
trying to rectify that.
If you do know anyone who could point me to one of CGMWs descendants that would
be great. My wife Norma is the local historian at our library and you can email her if you
like at otherwise its snailmail to Luddite Bob!
Regards Bob Meadley
Some comments:1.Why did the Watsons migrate to Ireland in the 1600s? Is the answer on p.68 Ed. W.?
2.Seems uncommon for two brothers to marry 2 sisters and then a 3 rd on the death of the 2nd but
my grandfather & his brother married 2 sisters.
3.On cricket, my wifes father is credited with the longest hit ever. His 6 landed in an open
railway truck and went 60 miles from Brewarrina to Byrock! (p.8)
4.Richard (Dick) BMW was a handsome lad (p.15)
5.Plenty of lively affairs. Truth is more lively than fiction (p.17)
6.CMW (1840-1900) CGMWs father had his mother with him when Durham Lodge burnt down.
Note the story of CGMW and his nickname Phess (p.20)
7.I will use the photo of Alphabet Watson (p.25)
8.Catherine did not live long after the fire. (p.32)
9.Human Nature Never Changes p.44 Sad but true.
10.George Watt(s) married David Collins mistress. P.54 Ahem.
11.Sad about the Sherbourne Cemetery Watson headstones (p.64)
12.Julia Burns (Byrne) was incredible! (p.7

13.Seeing as you love books as I do you may not have seen the following (p.7)

C.G.M.Watson: Chess Master, Insurance Officer and Problemist

Bob Meadley
Charles Gilbert Marriott Watson (CGMW) was one of Australias greatest chess players
and much has been written about that side of the man. (Tony Wrights C.G.Watson
Australian Champion 1989 is a good source. Most of Tonys biographical material has
been included in this article. The Purdy articles from his magazine are another.)
CGMWs early chess career, his insurance work and his chess problems are not so well
Here is an anecdote from the S.A. Register 21/8/1922 p.13:-The victory of G.C. Watson,
the Australian Chess Champion in the worlds chess tournament on the queens pawn
opening is of interest to all Australian chessmen (says the Sydney Morning Herald). At
16, young Watson, then living at Blackrock Victoria formed a chess club and the
members met alternately at each others house. His father started him off on the
chessboard when he took on his first pair of knickerbockers and the enthusiastic lad
became a close associate of Louis Goldsmith. When 10, the future Australian champion
strengthened his style and alertness by opposing old hands with more or less success.
Many worlds champions have been precocious youngsters poring over a board when
other small boys robbed orchards. Watson read Stauntons Chess Handbook and
Selkirks Book of Chess. He now lives at Ballarat and at 44 has more chess to play.
CGMWs father Charles Marriott Watson (CMW) taught him to play. He was a strong
player and met C.M. Fisher and L. Goldsmith on level terms. He was the son of Brereton
Ross Porter Pembleton Rolla Watson who was born in Liverpool UK in 1804 and arrived
in Hobart in 1824 as a Lieutenant on the ship The Snipe. BRPPRW was married to
Catherine Wade and there were 10 sons and 4 daughters. One of the sons was CMW who
was born in Sorell Tasmania 9 March 1840. He married Isabella Bissett Walker the
daughter of Gilbert Walker of Brighton Vic on 28 April 1868. The marriage was
conducted by CMWs two Minister brothers the Reverends George and Henry Watson.
CMW and Isabella had 2 sons and 6 daughters.
He was a prominent solicitor in Ballarat and Melbourne with his offices at 59 Chancery
Lane Melbourne and he is mentioned in the newspapers quite often as a young law clerk
through to maturity. His career was a series of highs until 1897 when a deficiency in his
trust fund of 10,700 ca was noted and resulted in him being struck off the roll for
misappropriation for 18 months in 1898. He brought a case against this in the Supreme
Court and had the striking off quashed. A good conclusion but some damage was done
and he died 3 November 1900 at his home Brompton in Cochrane Street North Brighton
aged 60. His body was interred in Brighton cemetery.
CGMW was born at Buninyong 22 October 1879 (Reg. No.7438). A fire had swept
through the family property of Durham Lodge and he was immediately nicknamed after
Hephaestus, the Greek God of Fire. He was called Phess by family and friends for the
rest of his life. He was the second son and the sixth child in a family of eight. In 1884, the
family moved to Melbourne and rented the house Hedgeley Dean in East Malvern and

then Black Rock House to 1897. In 1898 his mothers parents died leaving her the house
Brompton at 48 Cochrane Street Brighton. Earlier they had been in Esplanade Terrace
St. Kilda. CGMW was just 21 at his fathers demise.
CGMW had been educated firstly by a governess in 1890 and then at Melbourne
Grammar where he was dux in 1895/6. In 1897 he enrolled in arts at Melbourne
University but his fathers death resulted in a delay in obtaining his degree which was not
achieved until April 1911. He also studied two years of law in his early University career.
Insurance was to be his lifelong work and he started with the Royal Insurance Company
in 1898 and served 14 years with them including time in Perth in 1906 where he played
W.S. Viner for the Australian Chess Championship and lost badly. The Royal was a
prominent English company that had been in Australia since the 1850s. He relinquished
the position as Head of the Australian Department of the Fire and Life Assurance section
in 1911 to be provisional manager and promoter of a new company being floated on the
Stock Exchange in August. The abridged Prospectus for the Life Insurance Company of
Australia included 250,000 made up of 500,000 shares of 10/- ($1) each. His
organisational skills were well known and the Head office was to be 133 Pitt Street
Sydney. The actuary would be E.S. Wolfenden a 15 year AMP veteran.
CGMW had married Pearl Frances Highett in 1911, the daughter of a Carlton solicitor
and the girl next door. The couple moved to Oakwood Waverley Street Sandringham.
There were to be no children and Pearl died of the Spanish Flue 2 June 1919 aged 34. She
was the daughter of FJ & DM Highett of Highton Mansfield and was born there. She
had 4 brothers (Griff, Roy, Francis and Ian) and 2 sisters Hazel and Gwen. The funeral
cortege left from their home Lethe in Heath Street Sandringham on 4 June for Brighton
CGMWs love of chess did not fit well with his insurance skills, a little like Paul
Morphys legal and chess skills but Watson did not have the American Civil War to
contend with. After the London Chess Tournament in 1922 there was a mutual parting of
the ways with the Life Insurance Company of Australia. By 1924 that company was
being broken up and partly merged with Commonwealth General Insurance and the
Australian Provincial Assurance Association. A difficult time as in 1926 a widow, Mrs
Mabel Roberts took Supreme Court action against Watsons former employer and their
behaviour was described in Court as unscrupulous The widow won.
In 1923 Watson was to be the Managing Director of another new company The New Era
Insurance Company of Australasia with authorised capital of 250,000. He was living at
Oakwood Heath Street Sandringham Vic.
The Abridged Prospectus for New Era was published in The Argus 20 January 1923 and
stated that CGMW had 25 years with insurance, 14 with Royal Insurance and 11 as
General Manager and Managing Director of Life Insurance Company of Australia:-He
has wide experience of the special conditions applying to new life companies and has the
support and cooperation of a number of leading life insurance men in each state.

He had married his second wife Edith Kit Crowther on 11 Sept. 1920 and they would
have 5 girls Nell, Margaret, Jennie, Gweneth and Mary. Edith was 31 and a niece of the
Founding Principal of Brighton Grammar where she also taught. CGMW had met her
through a mutual interest in studying French.
With business increasing and three daughters by 1924 he retired from chess but kept up
other interests. At the Australian Philatelic Congress in Melbourne 1921 he had won a
medal for the best Australian collection. He was an A Grade tennis player from his
University days and represented Victoria in Interstate matches when younger. He taught
himself new languages using foreign language books. Books of all sorts were his constant
The New Era company struck trouble in the Financial Year ending June 30 1929 and the
Directors decided the company could not continue due to lack of funds. At the Annual
General Meeting held 9th October the Chairman Mr. N.L. Spiers gave the reasons as a
succession of bad seasons, adverse newspaper criticism and the tactics of rival agents.
The companys capital was almost all gone. Southern Cross Assurance had agreed to take
over New Eras liabilities and this was confirmed in a Supreme Court Case in December
where Chief Justice Sir George Murray said It was in the interests of New Era
policyholders that the sale be assented to.
The AGM was a fiery affair with some shareholders very unhappy. A transcript of some
exchanges was published in The Argus (10/10) and the Brisbane Courier (15/10):A shareholder- We cannot hope to get much on the preference shares, I suppose?
Mr Spiers:-I should say about a shilling. We hope to pay 20 shillings in the pound on our
debts and we want to protect our policy holders fully.
The Shareholder:-What is the standing of the Southern Cross Company?
Mr Spiers:-It is, we understand, the most successful of the younger life assurance
Another shareholder:-I think that a strong motion of censure should be passed on the
directors for their management of the company.
The Managing Director Mr. CGM Watson said:-If you are thinking of the Directors fees,
I would like you to know that while I receive a salary the other directors have not drawn
a penny from the company for two years.
The motion to adopt the Report and Balance Sheet was rejected and Mr Watson asked for
a poll and was supported by two other shareholders. Mr Watson explained that in the
event of a poll, each share held by the votee represented a vote. He informed shareholders
that if they did not accept the report and balance sheet they would only involve
themselves in additional expense.
A shareholder responded:-In the six years that the Company has been in existence nearly
200,000 has been spent on commissions, agents and salaries. Is it any wonder that the
company could not carry on?
The motion for adoption of the report and balance sheet was again put and carried. The
Directors were to be paid at the rate of 100 a year. Ordinary shareholders lost totally but

the company hoped to pay all its debts as it wanted to protect the policy holders fully. A
sad story yet if the company had continued with the coming depression the results would
have been far worse. Southern Cross Assurance Co. pulled in its belt and rode through
the Depression. It was a successful company under General Manager A. Aubrey. He had
30 years with Southern Cross before his death in 1951. As early as 1927/8 Southern
Cross was issuing 6000 policies to New Eras 652. In 1928/9 the ratio was 5878 to 883
and this had risen to 6540 for Southern Cross at the start of the Depression 29 June 1929.
This company became NZ Vic Life in 1974. It had 23,078 policies and by contrast AMP
had 1.7mn.
CGMW obtained a position with Southern Cross Assurance, eventually becoming the
company secretary. He stayed there until he was 78.
By 1934 the Watsons were living at 48 Cochrane Street North Brighton the ancestral
home of many years. In 1938 they settled into a new home at 7 Hawthorn Road Caulfield.
He took up correspondence chess in interstate teams competitions and he played contract
bridge with his wife. They ran the Brompton Bridge Club and had great success as
partners winning the Southern Hemisphere Olympic Bridge Championship. His wife
often joined him in playing over master chess games. The tennis and gardening
experiments in unusual plants continued.
When war came he showed his point of view in the following letter printed in The Argus
10 October 1940:Sir- Archbishop Mannix is reported to have said that Ireland is doing the right thing by
remaining neutral. I do not know whether we should marvel more at the folly of Irelands
leaders imagining that Hitler will request Irelands neutrality, or at the conclusion of so
high a dignitary of the ancient Church, that the first thing that should be done was to do
justice to Ireland.
The first thing to be done! The world is afire, all the elements that stand for decency,
honour and fair dealing have ranged themselves, or are ranging themselves against the
forces of oppression and cruelty. Surely there is something else to be done first. Thank
God there are thousands of brave Irishmen in our Army, Navy, and Air Force who have
shown that they can see there is something more important still than these old
grievances. Yours C.G.M.Watson Caulfield.
At the end of 1948, after the marriage of his eldest daughter, he played in the Australian
Chess Championship at Melbourne finishing =8th. He was 70 and the marvel of the
They moved house in 1950 and renovated their new home at 3 Moona Road East
Malvern and CGMW retired from chess to home and family, bridge and books and
tennis. Always mentally strong he received a brief flurry of publicity when he won a
words competition in 1956 run by the Argus. (See article later.)
The following year at the age of 78, he retired from work. Heart trouble now curbed his
activities. The holiday house at Kalorama, bought for retirement, was sold. The couple

moved to the lower altitudes of Blackburn where their daughter Mary was able to provide
the care now needed.
The Age of 6 March 1961 p.12 included his death & Funeral Notices:On March 5, at his home 24 Donald Street Blackburn South, loving husband of Edith
Alice (Kitty) and loving father of Nell (Mrs La Rossignol, Nunawading), Margaret, Jean
(Mrs Watson, Glen Waverley), Gwen (Mrs McCarthy Nunawading) and Mary; beloved
gar of Jane, Barbara, Elizabeth, Susan and Katherine Le Rossignol; Christopher, Kim,
Duncan, Brenton and Tracey Watson, and Robina and Bill McCarthy and loving brother
of Robina, Ruth and Enid of Kilyseth.
The Funeral of the Late Charles Gilbert Marriott Watson will leave Le Pines Funeral
Chapel, 6 Rutland Road Box Hill on 6 March after a service commencing at 12.50pm for
the Springvale Crematorium.
His wife Kitty died in Box Hill 6 July 1984. She had been born in Brighton 5 June 1889
and was nearly 10 years younger than CGMW.
In 1962, 12 months after CGMW died the chess world caught up with it and Cecil Purdy,
editor of Chess World included a fine article on Watson which followed the Chess World
1949/50 articles by Cecil Purdy. (See later.)
References:1. C.G. Watson Australian Champion 1989 Tony Wright.
2. Google & Trove :-The Argus principally but also Weekly Times & Australasian.
3. The Australian Insurance Journal 1920s/30s.
4. The Age 1961 full year.
5. Chess World Oct/Nov/Dec/ 1949 & Jan 1950. Chess World Jan. 1962.
6. Australian Chess Review (ACR) Jan. 20 1931. ACR 1938 p.202.
7. Chess Pie by W.Watts. Souvenir of the London 1922 Tourney.
8. The Book of the London International Chess Congress by W.Watts 1923.
9. The Melbourne Leader mostly WW1 years 1914-18.
10. The Dux 1914 by unnamed editors H.Tate & CGMW.
11. Royal Australian Historical Society Journal Vol.24 1938 100 Years of Life
Insurance by C.W. Salier.
12. Life Insurance in Australia by A.C. Grey 1977.
It was helpful to find many references to C.G.M. Watson on Trove and Google.
This research carried out in the State Library of NSW and Mitchell Library Oct. 2012

Close-up of Watson from the following 1930/31 championship photo

From Australian Chess 1915 to 1930 by Tony Wright 1997

A very strong field including Wallace who was champion 1893-7, Viner who had held
the title since 1906, Crakanthorp who would win it in 1924, Davies a NZ champion and
Watson soon to be champion. The others were State champions.

Melbourne Chess Club May 1924

Boris Kostich European Chess Master on left playing Henry Tate.
5th from left P.N. Stewart; 6th R.Saunders; 7th J.A. Erskine; 8th Andrew Dall; 9th A.Marks;
10th ?; 11th L.V.Biggs.
The man on the left holding a pipe in his right hand is possibly Henry E. Grant, ex
President of the Club and editor of the chess column in the Melbourne Leader.
A pity Watson is not there. The photo and the following were given to me by Mrs Dall
and her daughter Josie in 1985 when they were passing through. Most of the
identifications were by John van Manen.
It could be that C.H. Edmondson President of the Club is in this photo and possibly J.E.
Pietzcker and R.G. McCutcheon.

E. Ingledew, F.A. Crowl, L.McIntosh, W.F. Coultas, W.H. Coulson, A.Dall

M.E. Goldstein, G.Gundersen, S.Crakanthorp, C.G.M.Watson
Australian Championship Melbourne 1930/31
Sitting are G. Koshnitsky and C.J.S. Purdy.

Australian Championship Sydney 1932/3

The handwritten names were probably by Andrew Dall. He was chess editor of The
Leader on Grants death and Special Reporter to Purdy in the Australasian Chess
Review. Watson sits behind the shield.

Incomplete Watson Family Tree

Brereton Ross Porter Pembleton Rolla Watson married Catherine Wade
25 June 1827
10 sons 4 daughters
John, Brereton, Henry, Francis, George, David, Alfred, Charles Marriott, James and
Wentworth, and 4 Daughters Angelina, Amy, Alice and Kate
Charles Marriott Watson (8 March1840-3 November1900)
married Isabella Bisset Walker 28 April 1868
2 sons 6 daughters
Sidney, Charles Gilbert Marriott, Robina, Ruth, Enid, Isabella, Beatrix & Jane
Charles Gilbert Marriott Watson married 1. Pearl Francis Highett
(22 October 1879-5 March 1961)
(1885- 21 October 1919)
No children
Charles Gilbert Marriott Watson married 2.Edith Alice (Kitty) Crowther
(5 June 1889-6 July 1984)
m. September 1920
5 daughters
Le Rossignol
1. Watson
5 daughters
1. married Annellan
3. married Rowena
4. married Leanne

Early family history from Reg Watsons book as follows.

CGMWs father

CGMWs Paternal Grandfather

The family called him Alphabet Watson because of all his names. His father and mother
were John (James) Watson and Angelina Marriott of London. This explains the M in
CGMWs name. This John (James) Watsons parents were John Watson (1744-1822) of
Brookwatson and Mary Brereton and that explains the Brereton name of CGMWs
The John Watson of Brookwatsons parents were George Watson and Dorothy Gason and
Georges parents were Feltham Watson and Margaret OBrien of Garry Kennedy Co.
Tipperary. Felthams father was Edward Watson who married the daughter of Lieutenant
Henry Feltham of Garry Kennedy Co. Tipperary about 1642.
All this from the excellent book by Reg Watson details on previous page.

Sydney Morning Herald 15 August 1911

The Argus 20/1/1923 p.24

The Argus 3 October 1929

The Argus 10 October 1929

A friend and chess rival of Watson. Apperleys best chess friend was probably Albert
E.N. Wallace the chess champion of the mid 1890s.

Mr Apperley was a pioneer of Queensland Chess and featured in the Queensland Chess
Associations booklet by Ian Murray in the 1990s.

This Journal was very outspoken on the actions of the NSW State Premier Jack Lang.
The Journal got its wish the next year.

The full article by Cecil W. Salier was published in The Royal Australian Historical
Society Journal Vol.24 1938.

This very useful book by A.C. Grey was published in 1977.

A terrible photo made so by the poor condition of the microfilm copy. It is from The
Leader 30 May 1914 p.28 and an enthusiast may be able to get a better copy from the
original newspaper held in the State Library of Victoria. It is a new one of CGMW.
Another photo at Watsons back is of Lasker the world champion.

A research bonus. From The Age p.7 25 April 1961.

From The Argus 2 January 1956:- Part only of the article.

The Argus 4 January 1956

The Argus January 1956. Apologies for the missing date. Mrs Le Rossignol was
CGMWs married daughter. It appears as though she won an earlier 1000.
The final scan is from The Argus 17 January 1957 the last issue of this great old
newspaper that supported chess from the first tournament in Melbourne in 1856.

Watson and the 1922 Congress

CGMWs great victory in the Australian Championship in Melbourne during Easter week
with a score of 11/13 entitled him to entry in the London International Tournament. He
left Melbourne on June 14.
He arrived in time to attend the July 29 luncheon and garden party at the Zoological
Gardens organised by the Imperial Chess Club. Lord Dunsany greeted the guests on
behalf of the Club and Capablanca thanked the Club on behalf of the players. The group
toured the Zoo after lunch. (See the scan of Chess & Zoology following.)
On Monday July 31 the Congress opened in Central Hall Westminster with a welcome
from Canon Ross. He advised that the Parliamentary Chess Circle had given the First
Prize. Mr. Bonar Law, Parliamentarian and former Prime Minister spoke about the great
relaxation provided by chess as it took ones mind off work.
Play began at 2pm with Watson gaining a draw from F.D. Yates in a 70 move game.
A wonderful publication Chess Pie appeared before the Congress and was the Official
Souvenir. It contained fine biographies of the contestants mostly written by themselves
and superb photos. Unfortunately Watsons biography and photo did not appear due to
deadlines but his name was included as a player on page 81.
The photo of the venue the Central Hall Westminster is included plus an
advertisement. It must have been inspiring for CGMW to play and though he finished
second last, many of his games were long battles before the end on August 19.
The results featured in BCM for September 23 pages and Watson is mentioned seven
times. In 1923 the tourney book The Book of the London International Chess Congress
1922 appeared. It was edited by W.H. Watts with notes by Maroczy. The publisher and
printer was Printing Craft Ltd who had also produced Chess Pie. The event was very
successful made so by the gate receipts due to the Worlds Champion Capablanca
competing. He won with 13/15. The photos included a nice one of Watson and all the 120
games of the Masters event. (16 rounds/15 players.)
I have the late Bill Morris copy with the inscription by Watson to J.A. Erskine. Bill
bought it for $2.50 in October 1970 and he has written many annotations throughout.

Article by P.H.Williams (Zachariah Tutt) the Chess Amateur Problem Editor.

Photo from the Tournament Book, title following.

Following are some comments by Cecil Purdy on Watsons victory in the 1931
Australian Championship from the Australasian Chess Review Jan/Feb. 1931.


Watsons problems follow. His skill as a solver outside Australia will be in the Good
Companions Folders. There is no mention of him in The Problemist Fairy Supplement or
the Fairy Chess Review. And there are no problems in the Good Companions Folders

Watsons Chess Problems

The research in the Melbourne Leader (ML) was done in 2009 & 2012. The State Library
of NSW only has the WW1 years on microfilm and the newspaper did not photograph
well. Apologies for any mistakes in the diagrams. The pieces were hard to distinguish:-

Melbourne Leader, 3 Jan. 1914, No.3669

White to play. What is the least number of moves to which he can mate? (12x15)
(a) If 18 moves have been made on each side from the start.
(b) If 19 moves have been made on each side from the start.
Not solved

Melbourne Leader, 23 May 1914, No.3732

Mate in three (4x1)
Not solved
Melbourne Leader, 18 July 1914, No.3756 by Lethe (CGMW) was a stipulation problem
and I did not record it. Liked by Thomas Rayner Dawson (see ML, May 1917

Melbourne Leader, 8 Aug. 1914, No.3762 (After Kotre)

Selfmate in ten (8x5)
No idea on solution.


Mate in three (6x6)
Key 1.Ne3 threat 2.Nf5+..KxN;3.Rc5#
If 1..g6;2.eNg4..any;3.Rc4 or 1..Kxe3;2.Rd1..any;3.Ng4

Melbourne Leader, 30 Oct. 1914, No.3922

Selfmate in nine (15x9)
Id never seen anything like it and with no solution one has to rely on Poirots little grey
cells Fortunately 1.g8=N+..NxN;2.f7xg8=N+..BxN;3.h7xB=N+..Ke6;4.e7xB=N+..Kd6;
CGMW was entertaining us, he wasnt being difficult like in No.3762.

In the 24 Oct 1914 ML was the news that the chess editor H.E. Grant was pleased to get
The Dux. The first chess problem book in Australia and only 100 copies printed. The
editors were Henry Tate and CGMW and there was a nice write-up in the column. It was
sold for 2/6 (25c) from Mr Tate at 193 Collins Street. The presentation was made to
Grant at the Melbourne Chess Club General Meeting and he was surprised & gratified.

Melbourne Leader, 28 Nov. 1914

Mate in three (4x5)
Key 1.Kf6 threat 2.Qa8+..Kd6;3.Qd8#
If 1..Ne4+;2.QxN+..KxQ/Kd6;3.Bc6/Qc6 or 1..Nc4/Kd6;2.QxN+/Qxf4..Kd6/Kd5;3.Q#

Melbourne Leader, 19 Dec. 1914, No.3815

Mate in two (7x5)
CGMW:-A Herlin with apologies to Mr. Erskine and others. (Thomas Competition.)
Key 1.a8=Q waiting if 1..Ra3-a8;2QxR;Rc1-h1;2.RxR/QxR
1..B c3-g7;2.BxB; 1..BxB;2.QxB; 1,,g5;2.RxR
Melbourne Leader, 16 Feb. 1915, No.3828

White to make his 24th move. How many ways can he mate? (11x7)
19.Ng3..Rb3;20.axb3+..Kd3;21.Nb6..Ne4;22.fxe4..Be6;23.dxe6..cxb6 diagram.
Therefore white can castle and mate.

Henry Tate & CGMW

Melbourne Leader, 8 Aug. 1915, No.3908

Mate in two (13x10)
Key 1.d6 threat 2.Qf5 if 1..Qxe6,Rh5,Bf2,Bd4,N any,BxR
2.Rc7,QxB,QxB,PxB,Nd3,NxB. I went for Qf5 wrong.
The MCC Solving Competition held 10 August featured this problem. BCM reprinted it.

Melbourne Leader, 27 Nov. 1915, No.3945

Selfmate in eight (16x8)
Getting near Christmas so CGMW enters into the spirit. Rooks for all.

Melbourne Leader, 4 Dec. 1915, No.3948

Selfmate in ten (11x8)
Unfortunately cooked in 8 and I dont have the solution or the cook. What do the WPs
promote to and which is the mating Black piece? Hed done N promotions in 3922, Rs in
3945 so is this one Bishops? He did Rs again in 4150.

Melbourne Leader, 3 Feb. 1917, No.4123

Mate in five (10x6)
After struggling with this and failing I put it on Extreme Chess:1.0-0..Ke5;2.c5..Kf4;3.Ne1..Ke5;4.Ng2..PxN;5.f4# Terrific!
Trouble is 1.c5..Ke5;2.0-0..Kf4;3.Ne1..Ke5;4.Ng2..PxN;5.f4#
Or is it? 1.0-0?..c5!;2.White cant mate. Very clever CGMW and a classic.

Melbourne Leader, 17 Feb. 1917, No.4130

Dedicated to J.J. OKeefe

Mate in 2 (9x10)
Faulty mate in 1 by PxP. Pity and perhaps my Forsyth is wrong.

Melbourne Leader, 17 Mar. 1917, No.4141

Mate in two (15x5)
Key 1.Qa4 threat 2.Nd5 if 1,,Nb5,Bc6,Bb7,Ba8,RxB+

Melbourne Leader, 7 Apr. 1917, No.4150

Selfmate in nine (14x9)
Solution 1.h8=R+ etc. 7 consecutive Rook promotions then 8.Rb7+..KxN;9.Rc6+..Bbg#
At this time Alain White stepped in to judge the Piccaninny controversy and said that all
bets were off between Lethe and OKeefe. It raged on through April/May.
Lethe was Watson and this is the Greek word for oblivion and also the mythical river of
the underworld which the dead were supposed to drink and be made oblivious of the past.
A curious nickname for Watson and his home was named that also.
In May T.R. Dawson had received the Australian eccentrics collection of 93 problems.
He liked No.3730 by Frank R. Smith (Ravenscroft), No.3756 by CGMW & No.3755 by
Tate. The latter were stipulation problems in the 18/7/1914 Leader.

Melbourne Leader, 12 May 1917, No.4164

Mate in three (15x10)
Key. 1.Qd3 threat 2.Qd5+/Qf5+..KxQ;3.Bc3/RxN
If 1..Qxf3;2Qf5+..KxQ/Kd6;3.RxN/NxR if 1..Bd6+;2.QxB+..KxQ;3.Bc3#
A typical Watsonesque theme but the unprovided Bd6+ helps the solver.

Melbourne Leader, 2 Jun. 1917, No.4173

Selfmate in four (11x7)
Solution -1.h8=R+..Kg6;2.g8=Q+..Kf6;3.e8=N+..Ke7;4.c8=B+..BxQ#
The WN on f7 may be superfluous. Lovely allumwandlung P=R/Q/N/B
Compare with 4150.

Melbourne Leader, 3 Sep. 1917, No.4048

Hon. Mention (Published 1916)

Mate in two (10x8)
Key 1.Qc6 threat 2.Qh1/f3 if 1.PxQ,PxB,Qd5,Qb7,Bg2,d5
Dr. OKeefe was the judge of the Australian Columns Tourney in which CGMW got this
HM. OK said the problem quality was below average.
Melbourne Leader, 30 Mar. 1918, No.4300

Mate in three (11x4)
Key 1.Ba8 but cooked by Bc6 & Nd4+. A lovely idea 1.Ba8 d5;2.Bh8!..PxN/d4+;3.Nd4
or 1..Pxc5;2.Ra7!..Kd5;3.Re7. The cooks 1.Nd4+..Kf6;2.Nf5+..Ke6/g5;3.Re7/Rg7 &

Melbourne Leader, 27 Apr. 1918, No.4311

Mate in two (11x8)
Key.1.Qh1 threat 2.Qa8 If 1..Rg2,Rd5/e4,Nf3/e4,Bd5,Ne4/b7,c6
2. e7,Bf6,
Nf7, Rb8, Nb7, Ba5

Melbourne Leader, 1 Jun. 1918, No.4317

Mate in two (14x12)
Key 1.e7 threat 2.Qg8
If 1..Bg3,Ne8 any,Qg5/d2,Qf8,Rg5,Rg4
2.Rxc3, Nd6, Rc6, Ne3, Ne3, Be6. Difficult threat for me.

Melbourne Leader, 1923

Mate in two (12x12)
Fantastic 2-er. Right away from the norm. Key 1.Qxd4+
If 1..QxQ,fRxQ,dRxQ,cNxQ,bNxQ,BxQ,cPxQ,ePxQ
2.P=Q, Nxf6, Bc4, Nd5, Rxc5, c4, RxN, NxR

Melbourne Leader, 14 Dec. 1918

First Prize, Australian Columns, 1918-1919

Mate in two (13x6)
Key 1.Re2 waiting if 1..PxN,f6, f5, QxR,Qf6,Rxb3,Rc4,N any, PxQ,Pxd6,c6,c5
2.BxP,Ne7,Re5,Ne7,Bg2,Qc5,bxc4, Qd4, NxP, Qxd6,Nc7,Qc6

Weekly Times, ca 1914

Mate in three (5x5)
Key 1.Bh7 waiting if 1KxB/PxN;2.Pxh6..any;3.Qg7 or 1..else;2.Kg6 etc
B.G. Laws gave this problem in BCM as it took his fancy.
As mentioned earlier Watson was joint editor with Tate of The Dux (1914). Here are
the CGMW problems in that booklet. Dawson described Watson as a really great
solver. He won the ML Eccentricity solving in 1913 and tied with Tate in composition.

The Dux, Sep. 1914, Problem No.11

The Ladder

(4x11) Stipulations:-

(a) White does not check nor move into check

(b) Black does not capture
(c) Black only moves when he can check,
which he must do if it is his turn to play, except as in (b)
White to play and compel Black to mate after Whites 10th move

The Dux, Sep. 1914, Problem No.18

Mate in one (3x3)
A difficult problem, only to be solved by a solver who
is willing to put in a whole evening at the task.
Solution:-Take a (K)night off.

The Dux, Sep. 1914, Problem No.19

Mate in two (10x2)
Key 1.e8=B if 1..Ke6/Ke4;2.Nd4/Bg6
We Leader solvers all agree That none can cook our H.E.---- my research in the
Melbourne Leader has only scratched the surface. There would be many more Watson
problems in those columns and The Australasian and Weekly Times.

Melbourne Leader, 25 Oct. 1913

Mate in three
Key 1.PxP ep. Published in Retrograde Analysis by Dawson 1915 (No.98A)
Either WP takes ep as Blacks last move was c7-c5 or e7-e5.
White has 15 men on the board and the doubled Black g2/g4 pawns takes the 16th.

A fine obituary of Grant appeared in The Australasian Nov. 28 1931:It will be a shock to chess players throughout Australasia to learn of the sudden death,
due to heart failure, of Mr. H.E. Grant, who for many years has been the leading member
of the Melbourne Chess Club.
Already in 1914 the members, in token of their gratitude for his many services to the club,
elected him a life member. He had then been secretary since 1897, a period of 17 years,
and it was largely due to his untiring self-sacrifice that the club survived some of the very
lean years of that period. Two years later he was elected vice-president, which position
he held until his death.
Mr. Grant was born at Hidglee, Bengal, India, on July 11, 1854, and at the period of the
Mutiny he and his sister were reported missing; later, however, they were found to have
been saved by the loyalty of an Indian ayah.
He was sent to England for his schooling, but later returned to India as an engineer in
the Public Works department of one of the central native states. In 1895 this was taken
over by the British Government, and Mr. Grant was retired on a pension.
Visiting Australia with no particular intention of remaining, he became domiciled in
Melbourne, and soon he became interested in chess; within a year or so of taking up the
game he was one of the States strongest players, gaining the championship in 1907, and
on several occasions being runner-up.
He did not participate in the handicap tournaments, as his wonderful knowledge of the
strength of the players and his utter impartiality, made him an ideal handicapper, and
thereby prevented his taking part in the play. But his readiness to impart his vast store of
chess learning to all who applied to him for assistance was always characteristic, and
many, if not all, of our best Victorian players of today have much to thank him for.
No aspect of the game was unfamiliar to him, and at one time the problem composers and
solvers of the Leader of which he was for many years chess editor, showed their
appreciation by publishing in book form a collection of problems dedicated to him.
His was a distinct personality which unfailingly gained ones respect-whatever the
company he was in, he never obscured or hid his views. Perhaps the greatest testimony
paid by his fellow-members was that nearly half the club found time to attend his funeral
on November 19, at Springvale Cemetery.
As to the man himself, we can but echo the following words sent to us by a fellow member
who has known him for many years:- With the death of Mr. Grant, the Melbourne Club,
sustains the loss of a highly respected and venerable member. A big man in all respects;
infinitely more intellectual than temperamental; one who in every matter followed reason
to logical conclusion; he was a veritable encyclopaedia of general knowledge. Having no
time for the vain or foolish, he, nevertheless, was a willing gifted teacher, forever
instructing the young player. A loyal friend, an autocratic disciplinarian, he through
many years gave his life to the club- seeming to hold every office-dominating there as
does a just and wise father his family. Throughout the Australian chess world the death of
Mr. Grant will occasion deep feelings of regret, while to Victorians whose interest and
love of the game extends to past decades, his loss will be regarded as an historic event in
the annals of Melbourne chess.

Here is a 1907 photo sent to me recently by Jenny Davies the author of the Flinders Street
Station book Behind the Faade

This photo shows the Victorian team in the telegraphic match against NSW played 3rd
June 1907. It dates to June 8, 1907 and is from The Weekly Times p.37. The Victorian
players (10 of) were Gundersen (Board 1), Loughran (2), Grant (3), Witton (4), Dierich
(5),Ockenden (6), Reid (7), Thompson (8), Rainey (9) and Haldane (10). The officials
were Exon, Stabback, Amadoes, Duff, Tebbitt, Henderson, Harlin and Oliver. Another 8
and we can assume an official of the Weekly Times is also in the photo. That makes 19
and there are 20 in view. Watson did not play.
Now who do we know? Well, that is Gundersen sitting on the left with arms folded-Tall
man. Sitting next to him is H.E. Grant who was team captain. To the far right sitting is
Mr. Oliver the telegraphist and standing 4th from right with the bow tie and pointed beard
is J.G. Witton. The rest, sad to say are unknown to me. Cecil Purdy reprinted the
Australasian obit in ACR Dec 20 1931 with the following from the Vic. correspondent:As a player Mr Grant was always a formidable proposition, and he competed regularly
for the championship of Victoria. In 1907 he won that title and on several other
occasions he finished among the leaders.
In the annual telegraphic matches with NSW he played for V on 24 occasions and up to
this year, though not actually playing, he directed the V team as captain.

Not many of the present members of the MCC can hark back to the time before Mr. Grant
joined; and to the younger members he was always one of the clubs institutions. He was
always ready with a cheery word to advise or inform them or to play. As he put it, half a
game with them.
As editor of the chess column in the Leader his influence for the past 20 years has been
deep and far-reaching; and for many farther afield than his own club-mates will feel his
loss. Those who knew him personally will carry none but pleasant memories of this truly
great man as their guide, counsellor and friend.
Bob Meadley 21 Nov. 2012

From a WA newspaper article 1906 (probably the Morning Herald). The building can
only be The Mechanics Institute where the Perth Chess Club met and the match was
From Vol.2 Australian Chess Lore 1982 p.62 in the article William Samuel Viner (18811933) Chess Champion of Australia and New Zealand by the late John van Manen.
Some letters quoted in the article indicate Watson was in Perth from ca March 1906 with
Royal Insurance work. The match started Saturday June 9, 1906 and finished July 7. Both
men worked during the week so the match was played evenings and on weekends. Viner
won +7-1=3. It would be good to know when Watson returned to Victoria.
10 Dec. 2012