The Manchester Regiment Forum

Snippets of the Manchester Regiment => Mack's Miscellany => Topic started by: mack on September 08, 2015, 01:31:10 PM

Title: brothers last vigil
Post by: mack on September 08, 2015, 01:31:10 PM
pte 2106 Thomas hunt.1/5th manchesters

a letter to mrs heaton.1915

dear mrs heaton.
its my sad duty to tell you that your husband pte 2341 john heaton was killed on 7th august,its was during our big attack,i didn't see john killed,i came across him lying dead on the battlefield,his brother pte 2372 Charlie heaton was sat beside him looking down at him,it was a sad sight,it was even more so when I realised that Charlie was also dead,sat as if watching over john,we buried the boys the following day in the same grave,the chaplain reverend r.w welbon conducted the service,i placed a photo of you and baby on his grave
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 04, 2018, 05:01:24 PM
The deaths of both these brothers buried in Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery and mentioned above in this sad story, so well researched by Mack, are recorded in "Soldiers Died" as follows:-

2341 Pte J. Heaton   died 7.8.15      l/5th Manchesters
2372 Pte C. Heaton  died 7.8.15     1/5th Manchesters

However, the CWGC have these soldiers recorded as follows:-

2341 Pte J.Heaton  died 6.7.15    Age 27
2372 Pte C.Heaton died 6.8.15    Age 27

I wonder, please, if someone would kindly check that I have these facts right.      PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 04, 2018, 05:41:52 PM
Philip,
I think there is a transcription error on the CWGC site. Soldiers effects records the deaths of John Heaton as being on 7.8.1915 and Charlie Heaton as 6/7.8.1915. I think that explains the discrepency

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: mack on February 05, 2018, 05:21:50 AM
hiya guys.
I have rechecked pte hunts letter,both brothers were killed on 6th august,they were killed within minutes of each other.

theres a bit more to this story,their only surviving brother Harold was also in the 5th battalion[pte 2812]he later transferred to the RFA,harold died on 22nd april 1919,mr heaton lost all his sons.

mack
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 05, 2018, 10:30:24 AM
Charlie & Mack,

I thank you for your comments in respect of this intriguing research.     I spoke to the Commission this morning and they confirm that their records in respect of these two men are as stated in Reply No. 1.   
They further advised that Pte J.Heaton is buried in the cemetery in Plot 1, Row B, Grave 15.   They went on to confirm that Pte C.Heaton is buried in Plot 1, Row B, Grave 14.

It would seem that upon re-burial the soldiers' remains were separately buried.   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 05, 2018, 10:49:20 AM
Philip, Mack,
The CWGC should look a bit more closely at their own records when answering queries, the GRR records that they both died on 6th August. As I said a transcription error.

At least they are buried in graves next to each other.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 06, 2018, 11:07:08 AM
Charlie,

2341 Pte John Heaton :1/5th Manchesters.

Thank you for your info. re the GRR in which it indicates the date of this soldier's death as being the 6th August 1915, whereas the CWGC elsewhere give his date of death as the 6th July 1915.   It does seem strange that a figure'8' should be mistaken for a figure'7'.

Over the years, the Commission has explained that they take their instructions from the Ministry of Defence (War Office).   Thus, there is an inference that, for whatever reason, the Commission was given the date 6th July 1915 by the War Office in respect of this soldier.    I am willing to contact the Commission again, but I cannot do so as I need a copy of the GRR page to download and print-off.   It would seem that this facility is unavailable from the present day CWGC website concerning this soldier.     PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 06, 2018, 11:50:41 AM
Philip,
I’m quite sure it is an oversite on behalf of the CWGC. Attached are the GRR and the entry from Soldiers Effects. I‘ve mailed them to you as well.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 06, 2018, 12:13:44 PM
Charlie,

Many thanks.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 06, 2018, 12:42:47 PM
Charlie,

I will write to the Commission with appropriate enclosures and await their reply.   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 07, 2018, 02:08:03 PM
Charlie,
 I have received a courteous letter from the Commission today re Pte. J.Heaton's date of death.   The matter is now being considered.  It would seem that "if sufficient evidence is available", suitable alterations will be made, including that to the headstone, if applicable.     I am asked to check the Commission's web site in a couple of months.

If it is considered by the Authorities that an alteration to the date of death is not to be made, the Commission will contact me in that connection.    Lastly, I am thanked for again contacting them in this matter.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 07, 2018, 03:54:30 PM
Thank you Philip.

His grave marker on our Flickr site
https://flic.kr/p/h8FiXS

And that of his brother
https://flic.kr/p/h8Fp1W

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 13, 2018, 07:15:16 PM
I have today been advised by the Commission that the date of death of Pte.J.Heaton has been amended in their records to the 7th August 1915.     Suitable amendment to this soldier's headstone is expected to be undertaken during the next 18 months.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 13, 2018, 07:34:23 PM
Thank you Philip, thats good news.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 13, 2018, 07:35:27 PM
The above advice has a bearing on the date of death of 2372 Pte C.Heaton, whose death in the Commission's records is given as the 6th August 1915.  Perhaps there will be a need to contact the Commission in this matter, too? PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 13, 2018, 08:20:08 PM
Philip,
I think convincing the CWGC that he also died on the 7th may not be so easy. The GRR records the 6th and the records of Soldiers Effects state the 6th or 7th.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 14, 2018, 08:05:48 AM
Charlie,

J.Heaton & C.Heaton

I agree.  "Soldiers Died" has the brothers named above as being killed on the 7th August 1915.    The Commission reports that their decision to change the date of death for J.Heaton to 7th August 1915 is supported by records found on the Ancestry website.

Can you check on that, please?    Can you also check on Ancestry re C. Heaton, too.   Short of obtaining D/Certs for the two soldiers I think it would be difficult to show that these two brave soldiers were brothers.  All very interesting!   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 14, 2018, 05:40:05 PM
Philip,
I have been through the records on Ancestry. SDGW and their MiCs record that both brothers were KiA on the 7th. Soldiers Effects (Replies 7 and 15 refer) has the only discrepancy in that the death of C Heaton is recorded as being on the 6th or 7th, J Heaton being recorded as having died on the 7th.

I wonder if the letter quoted by Mack would be useful, I am assuming it was published in a Newspaper.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 14, 2018, 06:47:27 PM
Charlie,

Strengthened by your research, I propose to write again to the Commission in the matter of C. Heaton's date of death.   Thanks for your help.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 15, 2018, 11:41:18 AM
  Charlie,

Convincing (?) letter composed and dispatched to the Commission today re C.Heaton. PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on February 15, 2018, 11:46:08 AM
Philip,
Thank you, your last letter was obviously convincing enough, I‘m sure your latest is no less so. Fingers crossed!

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: mack on February 15, 2018, 08:44:44 PM
in his letter,pte hunt told mrs heaton that her husband and brother in law were called away on Friday 6th august during the attack on the Turkish trenches and died within minutes of each other

mack
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 16, 2018, 11:01:15 AM
Mack,

I note and thank you.   The battalion was in support of a diversionary attack and it would appear that this commenced at 1550 hours on the 6th August 1915.   As operations continued overnight to the 7th August and beyond, it is understandable how confusion as to dates of death occurred.  I await the Commission's reply.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on March 05, 2018, 10:30:04 AM
Telephone calls and further correspondence with the Commission are continuing.   The weather conditions have not helped the situation.   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on March 10, 2018, 09:31:06 AM
It now appears that the CWGC require more evidence relating to the death of C.Heaton. e.g. Copy of letter from Pte Carr and D/Certs.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on March 10, 2018, 12:37:55 PM
Philip,
Thank you for the updates, as anticipated it is proving not quite as easy to convince the CWGC this time. Do you intend to pursue the matter further?

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on March 12, 2018, 07:25:29 AM
Charlie,

Thanks for your interest.   As I consider this is a matter of some importance I am carrying on.  I take it that you would approve. PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on March 12, 2018, 08:53:51 AM
Thank you Philip, of course I approve, if I can help in any way please let me know. Perhaps Mack can help with the letter.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on March 12, 2018, 05:48:23 PM
Charlie,

Thank you. I have ordered Birth Certificates and Certificates of Death relating to the brothers and hope that these will assist the Commission in coming to a decision in the matter.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on April 09, 2018, 04:00:01 PM
I have today written to my Member of Parliament regarding the Heaton brothers and their date of death.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on July 11, 2018, 03:48:37 PM
I have received a letter from my MP today and it seems likely that very soon some progress will be made in this matter.   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on October 10, 2018, 08:16:40 AM
Mack,

I spoke on the telephone yesterday to my MP's office and it appears they are about to send "a chaser" to the Authority involved.   One thing which seems to have delayed the matter is that my MP is now a minister and is seldom in the constituency.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on November 27, 2018, 10:05:11 AM
Mack,
  A letter received today reports that another "chaser" has been sent by my MP to enquire why no reply has been received by him from the appropriate authority.   There are those who have suggested, that in view of my age, there may be a presumption that the matter could best be solved by my untimely demise.   Surely not?   Take care.   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on December 11, 2018, 11:45:51 AM
Mack,

I have now received a letter from the Director General of the CWGC listing the corrections to be made on the headstones and records of Privates Charles Heaton and John Heaton.

In that connection, I am further advised that, mindful that the annual Gallipoli campaign anniversary will be held in April 2019, the CWGC will be replacing the headstones of both soldiers and moreover, the Commission will be forwarding to me photographs of the new headstones.    PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on December 12, 2018, 11:44:19 AM
Charlie,

The Director General advises that the date of death details for Charles Heaton will be changed to 6/7th August 1915 as per the Death Certificate I provided earlier this year.    I hope too, that they will amend his age particulars which I have pointed out were wrongly quoted on his headstone.   Fingers crossed.  PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on December 13, 2018, 11:41:38 AM
Philip,
Thank you for the update and well done for keeping on the case.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on December 13, 2018, 04:37:46 PM
Charlie,

Thank you.   The case continues insofar as the ages of the two Heatons on the Commission's web site are wrong and I would not like new headstones to be set up with those errors.   I have written again to the CWGC in this connection.        My MP advises that he is willing if need be to assist in any similar exercise to correct errors.  But it is very time consuming and not a little expensive.   At the moment, in the matter of time spent on the subject, the Heaton exercise closely rivals the Drummer Willott saga of yesteryear.   Take care.   PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on January 30, 2019, 04:44:05 PM
Charlie,

Following my letter last month to Victoria Wallace, the Director General of the CWGC, I have today received advice from the Commemorations Policy Manager informing that the ages of the Heatons at death to be recorded on their respective headstones will be :-

John Heaton - 28 yrs     &   Charles Heaton - 25 yrs.

These dates are in conflict with the dates given on their respective Death Certs.  i.e.  John aged 27 & Charles aged 24, which I sent to the  Commission.    It would now seem that the Commission does not necessarily accept a casualty's certificate of death as a reliable source of information.       PhilipG.
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: mack on January 31, 2019, 03:00:06 AM
hello Philip
once again you have worked very hard to amend CWGC details using the correct procedures laid down by them and once again they have come up with a obstacle/excuse,out in the field the CWGC do magnificent work but their admin section are a nightmare to deal with,they ask for proof and when its provided,they knock it back.
i,me always drawn to the john[jack] kipling story,there was no proof that jack kipling is the man buried in that grave,but they accepted the evidence put forward,if us mere mortals had come up with that evidence,they would have ignored us

keep up the good work philip

mack
 
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: charlie on January 31, 2019, 11:08:16 AM
Philip,
Thanks once again for the update, I admire your tenacity in what seems to be an uphill battle with the CWGC.

Charlie
Title: Re: brothers last vigil
Post by: PhilipG on February 01, 2019, 11:43:35 AM
Mack & Charlie,
Thank you for your comments.  It has taken from March 2018 to the end of January 2019 to reach this stage in the exercise.  This has included the assistance of my Member of Parliament, the purchase of two birth certificates and two death certificates.   Altogether, I reckon the total cost has reached £50.     There was some humour in the process.   Prompted by a failure to reply to one of my letters, which included a file of correspondence, I rang the defaulter to be told that it had never been received.  As I had taken the precaution of sending the letter by Special Delivery I said "that's funny I have a signed Post Office receipt signed by a lady at your address."   "Oh" was the reply -"that's me".   You've got to laugh.   PhilipG.