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.

A well known turn of phrase, ‘written on the back of a fag packet’ is defined by the Collins on-Line dictionary as something ‘composed or formed quickly and without detailed analysis or research’. As far as first hand source material for this history is concerned, no better a description could be made. The details gleaned from my Grandfather in brief (and often emotional) discussions in the 1990’s are summarised as a list of place names written in an old man’s shaky handwriting on the back of a standard envelope! (this will feature later). On the upside, a standard envelope is approximately twice the size of a cigarette packet, which immediately doubles the amount of information to work with!

By my own admission, this site is a little self-indulgent, being of primary interest to myself, my mother, my children and a handful of relatives still living in Staffordshire. In addition, it may be that the information presented here will be read by others outside of the family who have a passing interest in military or family history.

I would welcome any comments/suggestions or dare I say it relevant information to contact me.

Monday, 4 January 2016

Information Request Through WW2Talk Forum - June 2015

Back in June 2015 whilst trying to establish with which Company my Grandfather served whilst with the 11th RSF, I posted the following enquiry:


I am researching my late Grandfather's military history and I have a few gaps.

L/Cpl James Kitchener Heath no 5051929 served in NW Europe from 23rd June 1944 to 19th December 1945. In late August 1944 he was transferred from 59 Staffordshire Division (5th Battalion South Staffs) to the 49 West Riding Division (11th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers). 

Within the 11th Battalion RSF I have some reason to believe that he was in D Company (and possibly 16 Platoon) but I have no documentary evidence from the documentation that I have in hand. I have his MOD records and have been in contact with the Regimental Museum, neither of which source can confirm the Company in which he served.

My question is, is there any other means of establishing confirmation of service at the company level?

Many thanks,


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