The intentions to document this information are long standing in that they go back some two decades to the early/mid 1990’s, just a few years before the subject of this site, James Kitchener Heath passed away.
As is the case in so many families in which a generation experienced war and all its traumas, certain aspects of service are known, but all too often the details are sketchy and disjointed. Add into this mix the passage of time and the result is invariably a collection of stories and fragments of memories accompanied by a handful of fragile and faded documents (if you are lucky) that represent the sum of information relating to the most extraordinary period in a soldier’s life. This was certainly the case in our family..... and it’s not much to go on.
In February 1995, my Father and I struggled to put together a potted service history to be read by the cleric presiding over my Grandfather’s funeral. At this point I decided to take steps to fill in some of the gaps as best I could.... sadly now without the benefit of first hand testimony.
Monday, 25 August 2014
Portrait Of The Soldier As A Young Man
In all the time that I knew my Grandparents, this portrait of my Grandfather in his dress tunic adorned the living room wall. Later, after they died, this photograph was reunited with two similar portraits of my Grandmother and of my mother Margaret and uncle James. The photograph was hand tinted at this time. It is notable that my Grandfather appears rather swollen in the face in this picture and the story went that at the time of the sitting he was suffereing from excruciating toothache!