Bertie Heath, Private 202287, 9th Battn, Labour Coy, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment)
Died of wounds 25th October 1917 in Belgium, aged 28
More information will be added here when research is complete.
Bertie initially enlisted with the Cheshire Regiment, receiving service number 4994. He then served with the King’s Liverpool Regt (service number 202287) and was later transferred to the 72nd Company Labour Corps (service number 42808).
Bertie’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on 16 November 1917:
A BRAVE SOLDIER – PTE B HEATH SUCCUMBS TO WOUNDS
Mrs Heath, 23 Duke St, Macclesfield, has received news that her husband, Pte Bertie Heath, King’s Liverpool Regt, (Labour Company), died on October 25th from wounds received whilst serving in France… Letters have [also] been received from the sister of the hospital and the chaplain. The former wrote as follows: “… your husband, Pte Heath, was severely wounded in the hands, thigh, back and abdomen, and although everything was done for him he passed away at 10.30am on October 25th. He was too ill to realise he was dying and really did not suffer much. I told him I was writing to you and he asked me to send you his love. He was very brave and patient.” The chaplain’s letter stated, “I officiated at your husband’s funeral this morning… Your husband was admitted into hospital on October 24th suffering from gunshot wounds. All that care and skill can accomplish was done for him by our sister and doctors, who assure me he was too ill to feel much pain. I prayed with him several times before his death and he passed away perfectly peacefully without any struggle or distress…”
Pte Heath was born in Macclesfield 28 years ago and leaves one child. He was educated at Daybrook Street School, and at the time of joining the Army was employed as a doubler at the Waterhouse Mill, Bollington. Prior to that the deceased soldier was engaged by Messrs West and Co of Manchester, and whilst working on the erection of vertical retorts fell from a scaffolding to the ground, a distance of thirty-six feet, sustaining injuries which necessitated him being away from work for twelve months. He enlisted eighteen months ago, and after training at Bedford went out from Oswestry with a Labour Company to France in March of this year.
Pte Joseph William Heath, Cheshire Regt, his brother, has served in France for over two years. He was wounded some months ago. Pte Heath is twenty-six years old and in civil life was employed at Ingersley Vale Bleachworks, Bollington. Another brother is engaged in munition work in Staffordshire. Mrs Heath has a brother serving in Egypt with the Cheshire Regt. He enlisted in the local Territorials on the outbreak of war, and took part in the Suvla Bay landing. A brother-in-law, Pte Arthur Newton, Manchester Regt, has seen active service in France and was wounded at Bullecourt. He left again for the front this week.
Private Bertie Heath is buried in Grave Ref. IX. D. 9. of the Dozinghem Military Cemetery in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Bertie Heath, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Brother of Joseph William Heath, who served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment; and brother-in-law of Arthur Newton, who served with the Manchester Regiment.
Soldiers Died in the Great War (Find My Past)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
Lives of the First World War website
Macclesfield Times: 16 November 1917, 23 September 1921 (photo supplement)