Thursday, 11 June 2015

Heaton, Croysdale - Private (16843)

(No soldier photo available)
10th Battalion,
Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Killed in Action,
25th September 1915,
Age 24,
Buried Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos.

Croysdale Heaton (better known as “Croy” Heaton) was born in Haslingden  on 1 April 1891. He was the son of Thomas and Olive Heaton of 11, Acre, Haslingden and was baptised at St. James Church, Haslingden on 31 May 1891. His mother, Olive died the following year and was buried in Stonefold Churchyard on 17 December 1892 at the age of 33. In 1901 Croysdale lived at 692, Industrial Terrace, Rising Bridge with his father and brother Thomas. Prior to joining the army he had worked at Robinson’s Mill and was a jovial young man. Private Heaton, who was 24 years of age, enlisted in the Scottish Rifles in 1915, after being rejected for the East Lancashire's.  His elder brother, Thomas, enlisted in the RFA, and was a gunner. At the time that Croysdale was officially reported as being killed, Thomas was in a London hospital suffering from injury sustained in falling in a trench during the night. Both brothers were single. Their father resided at 5, Back Pleasant Street, Acre.
"In January 1916 Croysdale Heaton was officially reported as being killed in action in France on September 25th – at the Battle of Loos, - it was believed.

In the autumn of 1915 it was decided that four British Divisions (amongst which was the 15th Scottish Division of which the 10th Cameronians were a part) were to attack the German line between Lens and the La Bassee Canal. The plan was to break into the German positions, then to push through into the open country beyond.
Zero hour was 6.30 am on 25 September. The attack was preceded by a four-day artillery bombardment and then a discharge of chlorine-gas at 5.50 am. The German lines were strongly defended by concrete strong points and machine gun posts.
The gas and smoke from the bombardment did not entirely hide the advance. Before the enemy line was reached their machine guns swept the front of the attacking troops causing heavy casualties in the first few minutes. In spite of this the men pushed through into the German trenches where there was hand-to-hand fighting with the bayonet. Several Germans were captured.
The advance continued towards Loos, which was entered at 8 am. By this time all senior officers of the Battalion were either killed or wounded. The troops pressing after the retreating Germans inadvertently passed between the German first and second lines, and from the latter came intense machine gun fire.
The Cameronians, caught on the bare slope of a hill, could neither go forward nor retire and suffered more casualties. The British advance was no longer possible so when the day ended the Cameronians were reorganised to consolidate a defensive position
Pte. Heaton was killed during this action. From - Bill Turner’s Book

Croysdale Heaton is buried  in Dud Corner Cemetery, Loos, France. 

Newspaper Report:

Private Croasdale Heaton, of the 10th Scottish Rifles, is reported to have been killed on September 25th of last year, in the battle of Loos.  The deceased, who was 24 years of age, enlisted in the Scottish Rifles over twelve months ago after being rejected for the East Lancashire's.  Previously he worked at Robinson's Mill.  He had an older brother who enlisted before him in the Royal Field Artillery, where he is a gunner.  This brother is in hospital in London, suffering from an injury sustained by falling in the trenches in the dark.  The father lives at 5, Back Pleasant Street, Acre, Haslingden.