Geoffrey Heath, Captain,”B” Coy. 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 10th August 1915 at Gallipoli, aged 31
Geoffrey Heath was born in Macclesfield in 1883, the second son of Silk Manufacturer and Councillor George H. Heath and his wife Fanny Lavinia Josephine Heath.
In 1891, seven year old Geoffrey was living at Beech Knoll, Beech Lane, Macclesfield with his parents and siblings George Noah (9), Dorothy (5), Marjorie (3), Barbara (2), and Kathleen (9 months).
Geoffrey was educated at Macclesfield Grammar School, and later at Uppingham School.
In 1901 Geoffrey, now aged 17, was an Electrical Engineering student and living at Beech Knoll with his parents and siblings George (19), Marjorie (13), Barbara (12) and Kathleen (10).
Geoffrey sailed from Liverpool to New York on the 14th January 1911 aboard the Campania, returning about two years later on the White Star Line ‘Celtic’; he stated his occupation to be ‘mechanic’.
Geoffrey was already a Lieutenant in the local Territorials (7th Cheshire Regiment) when war broke out.
Following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir.
At 8am on 10th August the Battalion was ordered to attack Hill 70. This was unsuccessful and the Battalion suffered severe losses. A second unsuccesssful attack took place at 5pm. By the end of the day, Captain Geoffrey Heath was missing and after a considerable length of time he was assumed to have died on 10th August 1915.
Captain Geoffrey Heath has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 75 to 77 on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Captain Geoffrey Heath, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Capt. Geoffrey Heath is commemorated on the Macclesfield Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, Macclesfield Grammar School, Old Boys’ Club, Park Green Club, Macclesfield Golf Club and Sutton St. James’ Church Roll of Honour memorials.
Elsewhere, Capt. Geoffrey Heath is commemorated in a stained glass window in St. James’ Church, Arnside, Cumbria, where his widowed mother lived.
Brother of George Noah Heath who also served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment and survived the war.