“Watsons Crags”, Snowy Mountains & Prof. Archie Watson.

Professor Archibald Watson

Professor Archibald Watson

“Grandie” Watson’s fourth child by his first marriage and brother to Sidney, Harry and Greg Watson of Gregory Downs was Professor Archibald Watson an eminent Australian and world famous surgeon and Elder Chair of Anatomy at Adelaide University for 28 years, who had been encouraged by botanist Baron Von Mueller to pursue a scientific career.

 Another botanist, Richard Helms named “Watson Crags” in the Snowy Mountains (North of Thredbo) after Professor Watson. In 1896 Helms wrote – “The extreme westerly rise of the Tenison Woods Range (Twynam West Spur), with its grotesquely serrated and abrupt cliff, I dedicated to my friend Professor Archd. Watson, of Adelaide, who has always evinced the greatest interest and fostered geographical knowledge and explorations of Australia“. (Watsons Gorge Creek adjoins, rising at Mt Twynam and entering the Geehi River).

Initially, at age16, Archie had decided that school life had little to interest him and he found his way to the Pacific Islands where his trading operations of diverse kinds were financially successful. At one time he was an innocent passenger on a sailing ship called the ‘Carl’, that had, a few weeks before, been involved in a blackbirding operations resulting in the deaths of 35 islanders. A British naval vessel appeared and Watson and others were charged with capturing South Sea Islanders. Watson slipped bail and went off to California in an American ship.

Archie Watson and cohort

“Proffie” Watson did his medical training in Germany, France and England, never married, and wandered all over the world “studying things” and eventually retired to Thursday Island where he still rode his motor bike at 90, and eventually died there aged 91. He knew Latin, Greek, German, French and the Fijian languages. In his diaries, the names of his women friends were in Greek and he recorded his experiences with them in Fijian.

‘Proffie’ Archibald Watson’s life is indeed a fascinating story – see website at bottom of page. 

Watsons Crags from Scammells Lookout
Watson Crags from Scammells Lookout

Scammells Lookout, 1,000′ above sea level, is on the Alpine Way south of Khancoban in Kosciuszko National Park and overlooks the rugged western fall of the Main Range of the Snowy Mountains.

Watson Crags
Grave on Thursday Island

More interesting facts on Professor Archibald Watson at the website below:-


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