The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Lieutenant I Heaton


Photograph added by "laurinlaurin espie"


Photograph by "Cyrille MARIE"

Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Ivon HEATON, 7th  Battalion,  Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment,  died of wounds, 14th October 1917, age 21.

28th September 1896, born, son of Charles James Heaton, M.D., and Mary Florence Heaton, of  "Ellerslie" Westgate-on-Sea, Kent / Verulam, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent.

2nd September 1906, St Matthew, West Kensington, Hammersmith & Fulham, baptism of Ivon Heaton, son of Charles James, (Doctor), & Mary Florence Heaton of "Ellerslie" Westgate-on-Sea, Kent.

26th July 1915, posted BEF.

4th January 1918, Probate - Heaton Ivon of Verulam, Westgate-on-Sea, Kent. Captain 7th Royal West Kent Regiment, died 14th October 1917, in France. Administration (limited) London 4th January to Mary Florence Heaton, (wife of Charles James Heaton), the attorney of the said of the said Charles James Heaton. Effects £161.

Buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery, V. B. 6B., Le Treport, France.

AWARDS: Mentioned in Despatches


External link to Westgate on Sea War Memorial

London Gazette 28th November 1916.

The under mentioned to be temporary Captains - Temporary Second Lieutenant  I Heaton. - 22nd March 1916.

London Gazette 12th November 1917.

Royal West Kent Regiment - The under mentioned to be acting Captains. additional): - 20 July 1917.

Temporary Lieutenant  I. Heaton (since died of wounds).

London Gazette 21st December 1917.

War Office, 21st December 1917.

The following is a Continuation of Sir Douglas Haig's Despatch of the 7th November, submitting names deserving special mention, published in a Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 18th, December, 1917 : 

ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT. - Heaton, -Temporary Lieutenant (acting Captain) I


Capt. Ivor Heaton was the only child of Dr. Charles Heaton and Mrs Heaton, of Verulam, Westgate-on-Sea.

His father served from June 1916, to the end of the War with a Temporary Commission in the R.A.M.C., being engaged mainly surgical and electric therapy work for six months in France, and then for some eighteen months in Egpyt and Palestine.

Entering the Classical side of Tonbridge School in September 1910, he subsequently went over to the science side preparatory to entering the medical profession. He was in the science sixth from September 1913, passed the London Matriculation in 1914, and was entered for Pembroke College, Cambridge. In September 1914, he was appointed a House Praeposter and a Lance-Corporal in the O.T.C., but determined to throw up everything in order to serve his country and, receiving a Temporary Commission dated November 5th, 1914 in the Royal West Kent Regiment, he left before the end of term, when only a little over eighteen. His O.T.C. training stood him in good stead during the early days of his training, and he went over to the front in the Summer of 1916, and served on the Somme until he was severely wounded by a shell before Montauban on July 1st in the great battle that commenced that day. He had a marvellous escape, as all the others who were near were killed, and he was all but completely buried by the shell, and more-over said that he owed his life to his steel helmet. His condition was so serious the was not quite conscious when he reached a London Hospital a week later.

His recovery was naturally slow, and then for a time he was on light duty with his Regiment at Rochester, whence he was able to visit Tonbridge school, and it was not till the Spring of 1917 that he was allowed to rejoin his Battalion at the front. After this he saw much fighting in different parts of the line, and on one occasion, whilst lying in a shell hole near Cherisyin the midst of a fierce barrage, wrote the verses on "A Bird's Song under Shellfire," published in Tonbridgian of December 1917.

As Intelligence Officer and as Scout Trainer he did excellent work and was selected for Divisional Intelligence School, the report of the Army School being, "Will make an excellent Intelligence Officer, quite the best all-round student in the course." His promotion to Acting Captain (additional) was dated July 29th, 1917.

At the capture of Poelcappelle on October 12th, he was pushing forward with his scouts, when he was severely wounded in the right arm, but though in considerable pain carried on until compelled to give in and return. By a terrible mischance he fell victim to a gas shell when nearing the dressing station and the delayed action of this showing itself on the journey, died on October 14th, 1917, just after reaching the base hospital.

He was "mentioned" in Sir Douglas Haig's Despatch dated November 7th, 1917.

Naturally of a retiring character, he was keen and thorough in all he undertook, and won the love and honour of all who knew him. His men, we are told, adored him, and would follow "Boy Heaton" as he was called, anywhere with absolute confidence.

One brother Officer wrote:-
"Every Officer in the Battalion had the greatest admiration for his courage, devotion to duty, keeness and self-sacrifice."

Another wrote:-
"What a loss he is to us personally and to the whole Battalion and Brigade I can't tell you. I was talking to the Brigadier yesterday and he is especially cut up about it. He wanted to make him a Staff Officer, as he had shown such exceptional ability as Intelligence Officer."

"He was simply splendid at his work. He was of the greatest use to the C.O., who I know, thought tremendously of him. I have never known any one who went more thoroughly into his work or showed more keenness."

The Adjutant wrote:-
"He was a wonderful boy, so gentle and attractive, but with the spirit of a true hero. I know what he went through when up in the line after that bang on his head, but he never showed excitement or or strain, and was a source of confidence to every one."

The C.O. himself wrote:-
"He was one of my best Officers, and both as a soldier and a comrade his loss is more to us than I can express...........He died doing his duty like the gallant gentleman that he has always shown himself to be....... I should like you to know what a deep personal affection I had for your boy. He was always so cheery and took such a keen interest in his work and had such a charming personality. He has done much good work and was a most brilliant and brave and thoroughly reliable Officer in every way."

Tonbridge School and The Great War of 1914 - 1918.

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