Watson was an American working in the export business in Shanghai when World War II began.
The Benjamin Watson Papers document the experiences of internees in the Chapei Civilian
Assembly Center in 1943 through the camp newsletter
Benjamin Harrison Watson was born in 1893 in Brooklyn, New York to William A. and Annie
Watson (née Jones). His father was in the weighing and gauging business for imports, which
influenced his decision to go into the export business. During World War I Watson joined the
National Guard 1st New York Field Artillery. He was initially sent to the border with
Mexico. The war ended before he was sent abroad. After the war, Mr. Kilbourne of the Koster
Company recruited Watson to rejoin the export business. He initially worked in Java and
Singapore before going to Shanghai. During World War II, he was interned in Shanghai at the
Chapei Civilian Assembly Center. At the time of his internment he worked for Fagan Company.
He passed away in 1973 at the Veterans Home of California in Yountville.
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