Lt. George J Hatch Research Notes
eBay Seller Russ Cook's Description:
Vintage 1st World War Trench watch with RFC Inscription. Comes with very old written Regimental History of Lt. G.J Hatch. I carried out some further investigation. Lt. G. J. Hatch was killed in action with his observer, Corp, E. Langridge flying a Be2c from No, 8 sqdn on 6/4/17. He was shot down by D.R Frankel, flying an Albatross, who was C/O of Jagdstaffel 4 and an Ace. D R Frankel, was himself shot down and Killed just two days later on 8/4/17.
I bought the watch 5/6 years ago from a second hand market. The seller new very little about the watch. I am not an expert in 1st world war militaria. I will answer any questions as honestly as I can.
Watch is Pin set. Has damage to Dial. Some loss to lume on hands. Serviced when acquired 5 years ago with Receipt. Watch gains 5/6 mins a day. winds and sets as it should. Size is 33mm not including crown. Comes on a used one piece Military strap. Also with box and strap it came with.
The Ultimate Time Capsule Watch
Lt. George J Hatch's trench watch is the ultimate find -- an all-original engraved watch and leather strap with 100% provenance, including historic photos, descriptions of his aerial death in at least three WW1 books, and the tragic handwritten "Killed In Action" note that accompanied the watch. I purchased this watch on May 26, 2019 from eBay seller Russ Cook (Brasildon, Essex, England). Russ acquired Hatch's watch in 2014 at a second-hand market:
“I recently bought this Trench watch at one such market. I am not an expert on these, but it felt right, and I was very taken with the very sad story that emerged when I read the accompanying paperwork. The box, with the watch had just been thrown in another larger box, as if it had just been discarded. On the case back is a dedication to an officer in the RFC, Lt. G. J. Hatch [Royal Flying Corps, precursor to the RAF], with a very old handwritten note giving the history of the young man, who tragically was killed in action 6/4/17….”
History owes a "thank you" to Russ Cook for rescuing Lt. Hatch's watch that was so carefully stored in a box and kept by members of Hatch's family for over 100 years.