1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
2nd Lieut Wilfred Alexander Heyworth
- Age: 20
- From: Buenos Aires
- Regiment: 5TH KINGS
- Commemorated at: Douchy Les Ayette
Panel Ref: III.B.7
Wilfred was born in Buenos Aries on 24th March 1896 the only son of Harold Ormerod Heyworth and his wife Elise Grace (nee Massie). His father was born in Liverpool and his mother in Melbourne, Australia. His parents had married on 29th November 1894 in St. Saviour’s church, Liverpool. A week after their marriage, on 6th December 1894, the couple sailed from Liverpool for Buenos Aires, on board the ‘Liguria’. His father is listed as a merchant.
The family arrived back in Liverpool from Valparaiso, Chile, on 12th June 1898 on board the ‘Orissa’. Their child is listed as John, age 3. But as the 1911 census states only two children were born to the marriage, this could, in fact, be Wilfred.
In 1901 Wilfred, age 5, is living with his parents and newborn sister Helen at 19 Elgin Drive, Wallasey. His father is a bank manager.
In 1911 his parents and sister are living at Bank House, Barnston, Cheshire, with two domestic servants. His father is an insurance inspector. Wilfred cannot be found on the census; he was then a pupil at Birkenhead School. He entered the school in 1910 and left in 1912. He was in the cricket XI and was a very promising player, as he afterwards showed as a member of Sefton Cricket Club. Before the war he was in business in Liverpool.
Wilfred enlisted in Liverpool on 31st August 1914, as Private 15616, joining the 17th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment. He gives his age as 19 years and 160 days, and his occupation as clerk. He is described as being 5’7” tall, weighing 126lbs, with grey eyes and red hair.
He was appointed unpaid Lance Corporal on 6/7/1915 and was discharged on 30/7/1915 “for the purpose of re-enlisting in Inns of Court O.T.C.”. He gives his parents as his next of kin, Harold Ormrod [sic] and Elise Grace, of 65 Silverdale, Sydenham, London, S.E.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 23rd October 1915: “Private Wilfred Alexander Heyworth, from the Inns of Court Officers Training Corps, to be Second Lieutenant. Dated 24th October, 1915.”
Wilfred was serving in France with the 5th Bn King’s (Liverpool) Regiment when he was killed in action near Arras on 23rd May 1916, age 20.
His parents received a letter from the Adjutant of the Battalion who wrote:
“I cannot speak to highly of your son. He was splendid, imbued with a high sense of duty and doing that duty cheerfully and well. He endeared himself not only to his brother officers, but also to his men, and there was not a man in his platoon who would not have followed him anywhere.”
Wilfred was originally buried in Wailly Military Cemetery, Plot 1, Row B, Grave 2, but when graves were concentrated a few years after the war, his body was transferred to Douchy Les Ayette British Cemetery, where he now lies.
His parents, then living at 1 Holland Park Mansions, Holland Park Gardens, London, had the following inscribed on his gravestone:
“ONLY SON OF HAROLD O. AND ELISE G. HEYWORTH”.
His death was announced in the Liverpool echo on 26th May 1916.
In the Surrey Mirror, 9th June 1916:
“Burstow Preparatory School – The School has had to mourn the loss of one of its old boys, Wilfred Alex. Heyworth, who was killed in action on May 23rd, aged 20 years. From Burstow he passed on to a public school, where he excelled in both cricket and football. An officer writes of him: ‘When the enemy began to shell he immediately sent all his men under cover and he himself was the last to seek refuge – quite rightly. Another shell then burst, striking him down and killing hm instantaneously. I cannot speak too highly of your son – he was splendid, imbued with a high sense of duty, and doing that duty cheerfully and well.’”
From De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour:
Wilfred was born in Buenos Aires, on 24th March 1896. He was educated at Burstow Preparatory School, Horley, Surrey, and Birkenhead School. Wilfred enlisted at the beginning of September 1914 and obtained a commission on 24th October 1915. He was killed in action on 23rd May 1916 when getting his men under cover near Arras. From amongst the many letters of tribute from brother officers and men, his colonel wrote: “On my return from a brief leave I was shocked to hear of the death of your boy. To me it came as a peculiar personal blow, for I had the greatest regard and affection for him, looking upon him as one of the best and finest ‘types’ that I have ever had under me and, in addition, his own personal qualities endeared him to us all. The lot of a Commanding Officer in this stupendous ‘game’ is at best a laborious one, but with us it is lightened by our being (as far as lies in my power) all ‘part of a family’ and never have we had, or will have a finer member of the group.” He was a keen sportsman, excelling in cricket and football.
Wilfred is commemorated on the following Memorials:
Birkenhead School chapel memorial
Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool Town Hall, panel 51 left.
Killed On This Day.(102 Years this day)
Saturday 10th August 1918.
Lance Corporal 30546 Charles Harold Fairclough
33 years old