Harry Jeffrey Heseltine

Information about birth

Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Bradford, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Last known residence:
Bradford, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Wool Classer
Church of England

Army information

England, United Kingdom
British Expeditionary Force
Service number:
Enlistment place:
Bradford, Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
 —  West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own), 1/6th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Peter Pan, Passendale, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Dochy Farm New British Cemetery
Plot: I
Row: D
Grave: 30

Distinctions and medals 3

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Harry Jeffrey Heseltine was born on 31 January 1891 in the town of Bradford, Yorkshire, England, the fourth son in a large family. He was working as a wool sorter when he enlisted in the British Army. He was assigned to the 1/6th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales' Own), part of the 146th Brigade of the 49th (West Riding) Division.

On 9 October 1917, the 49th Division took part in the Battle of Poelkapelle, part of the Battle of Passchendaele. The 146th Brigade attacked at 05.20, with the 1/5th, 1/7th and 1/8th West Yorkshires, while the 1/6th West Yorkshire was held in reserve. The 1/6th was in shell holes at Calgary Grange, north of Gravenstafel. On the night of 8-9 October, dark clouds and rain hampered troop movements. During the attack, a gap developed between the 1/5th West Yorkshires on the right and the 1/4th York and Lancaster of the 148th Brigade. The 1/6th, in reserve, had to close the gap at Peter Pan. The advance was extremely difficult because of heavy machine-gun fire. From positions and bunkers near Bellevue, on a spur of the Passchendaele ridge, the Germans held up the attack. An attempt was made to reach Bellevue via the side slopes, through a rain of bullets, but the troops got stuck on wide strips of barbed wire and the battalion had to dig in halfway. It would take until evening before the 1/6th could re-establish the line between the 1/5th West Yorkshires and the 1/4th York and Lancaster.

Harry Jeffrey Heseltine, aged 26, died on 9 October 1917. He was buried at Boetleer, along Our Lady street, leading to Gravenstafel and Calgary Grange. The obituary in the local newspaper "Bradford Weekly Telegraph" of Friday 9 November 1917 reported that Harry was soon allowed to come on leave to get married. All preparations had been made. Harry Heseltine was reburied after the war in Dochy Farm New British Cemetery, Plot I, Row D, Grave 30.

Files 1

Newspaper Article

"Bradford and District Heroes", Bradford Weekly Telegraph, 09/11/1917


Sources 9

"Bradford and District Heroes", (Bradford, Bradford Weekly Telegraph, 9/11/1917).
Sources used
1/6 Battalion West Yorkshire Regiment (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 95/2794/2_4).
Sources used
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 372).
Sources used
Census Returns of England and Wales, 1911 (The National Archives, Kew (TNA), RG14).
Sources used
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database (Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Maidenhead (CWGC)).
Sources used
Everard Wyrall, The West Yorkshire Regiment in the war 1914-1918, Vol II, 1917-1918 (London, John Lane The Bodley Head Ltd, Vigo Street, NN) 126-127.
Sources used
McCarthy Chris., Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account (London, Unicorn Publishing Group, 2018), 122-123.
Sources used
Soldier' Effects Records (Nationa Army Museum, Chelsea (NAM) 1901-60; NAM Accession Number: 1991-02-333).
Sources used
UK, World War I Service Medal and Awards Rolls, 1914-1920(The National Archives, Kew (TNA), WO 329).
Sources used

More information 3