A depot manager living in Sydney, Herbert Gilles Watson was the son of Rev. Francis Edward and Fanny Martha (Gilles) Watson. At the age of 24, standing 5 feet 8 inches tall, he enlisted as a sapper in the 2nd Light Horse Signal Troop of the Australian Imperial Force on 28 October 1914. He departed Australia for overseas service in late December 1914 and underwent training in Egypt. At Gallipoli on 23 July 1915, he was in hospital with scalded feet and was evacuated to England in October 1915. When he was fit for duty, he served as a driver with the Motor Transport Services before he transferred to the Australian Flying Corps in 1917. Posted to 4 Squadron (AFC) on 5 February 1918, he scored fourteen victories and was the highest scoring New Zealand ace to serve in the A.F.C. He returned to service with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II but died in 1942. Watson's medals are held by the Australian War Memorial.
Listed as Herbert Gillis Watson in the London Gazette.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lt. Herbert Gillis Watson (Australian Flying Corps).
Whilst on offensive patrol he encountered several Pfalz scouts, one of which he shot down. He has also in three weeks shot down four enemy machines and destroyed a balloon, attacking the latter at 6,000 feet, following it down to 1,000 feet, when it burst into flames.