Friday, June 30, 2006

Heasman Family Losses

I have been building a database of Sussex enlistments during the First World War. Whilst transcribing details for the 11th Battalion (1st South Downs) Royal Sussex Regiment, I came across three Heasman men who had lost their lives in the First World War. Heasman is a name I am very familiar with.  I have researched Albert, Frederick and Gilbert Heasman and I was saddened to see that another Sussex Heasman family had suffered such devastating losses.

I have not researched this "new" Heasman family in great depth but, as a small token to commemorate the men's sacrifice, this is what I have found.

Leonard, John (recorded as "Thomas" by Soldiers Died in The Great War and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission), Ernest and Edgar Heasman enlisted with the 11th Sussex Regiment in August 1914. They enlisted together and were given the service numbers SD/686 to SD/689 respectively.

Edgar (born in Shipley in 1876), Thomas (born in Shipley in 1885) and Ernest (also born in Shipley in 1887) were the sons of Harry and Susan Heasman. Leonard (born in Forest Row around 1891) was their cousin, the son of John and Alice Olive Heasman.

Leonard was killed in action on 30th June 1916 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial. He was 25 years old. Just over two months later his two cousins Thomas and Edgar were killed in action on the same day: 3rd September 1916. Thomas is buried at Serre Road Cemetery No 1; grave reference VII H 1 while Edgar, like Leonard, has no known grave and is commemorated on pier and face 7C of the Thiepval Memorial. Edgar and Thomas (recorded as John) are listed on a stone tablet at St Mary The Virgin Church, Shipley, Sussex along with 19 other men from the village who lost their lives during WW1.

Anybody who has more information on these men, please post a comment. Time alone prevents me from researching their stories more fully.

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