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.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Extract of the orders issued detailing the manner in which First British Corps were to coordinate with the supporting Royal Navy ships anchored of the French coast during 'Operation Astonia', the action to capture the fortress town of Le Harve.
Tuesday, 29 December 2015
- 1 Brit Corps will attack and capture Le Havre on 10/11 Sep – unless unfavourable weather conditions entail a further delay. On completion of this important operation, 1 Brit Corps will re-organise and re-equip in the vicinity of Le Harve , pending an improvement in the administrative situation which will permit the movement of this formation to the Eastern sector of First Cdn Army area.
- 2nd Cdn Corps has already been directed to proceed, without delay, to Capture Boulogne, Dunkirk and Calais, preferably in that order, but without prejudice to the earlier and easier capture of any one of them. If no weakness in the defences of these ports is discovered, and decisively exploited, in the course of operational reconnaissance - then a deliberate attack, with full fire support will require to be staged, in each case.
- In view of the necessity to give first priority to the capture of the Channel ports, mentioned above, the capture or destruction of the enemy remaining North and East of the Ghent-Bruges Canal becomes secondary in importance. While constant pressure and close contact with the enemy, now withdrawing North of R. Scheldt, will be maintained, important forces will not be committed to offensive action.