Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Heys, James Edward - Private (17173)

(No soldier photo available)
8th Battalion,
East Lancashire Regiment,
Killed in Action,
8th March 1916,
Buried Foncquevillers Military Cemetery.

James Edward Heys was born in Haslingden in 1883. He was the son of James & Mary A Heys.  In 1901 James lived at 12, Hoyle Street, Rising Bridge with his parents and was working as a card scutcher. On 2 February 1905 he married Bertha Robinson at St. John’s Church, Stonefold. James and Bertha had two sons, Harold Robinson, born 1905 and James William, born 1916. Both sons were baptised at Stonefold Church. James Edward enlisted in Haslingden shortly after the war began. He went with his battalion to France in August 1915. At the time of his death his wife Bertha lived at 3 Industrial Street, Baxenden.

In the first week of March 1916 the Battalion provided working parties digging out new trenches and repairing damaged ones in the front line. James was the first man in his battalion to be killed in action in France. He was a member of an 'advance party' sent to France to prepare the way for the rest of the battalion prior to its arrival a few days later. He died on 8 March 1916, aged 32 years. James Edward  Heys is buried in Foncquevillers Military Cemetery, in France.

"On 8 March they moved into trenches they had formerly occupied near the village of Foncquevillers.

The trenches had been raided by the Germans several days before and in the subsequent fighting the trenches were damaged again. Whilst the Battalion were at work repairing their own trenches, they came under an intensive bombardment from German artillery. Pte. Heys was killed by this shellfire".

From – Bill Turner’s Book.