About Me

My name is Jason.

I started researching my great grandfather, William Upfield Heathcote, in the summer of 2012 and this led me to downloading the war diary for his unit, 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, from the National Archives. While attempting to put together a narrative of his service during the war I transcribed part of the diary for my own use so that I could search it and cut out quotes. Having done part of it, I thought it would be useful if others could use an online version of the diary too.

For my part I find it quite interesting seeing one battalions history through the war.

15 thoughts on “About Me”

  1. Neil McCrimmon said:


    The war diary is of great interest as my Great Grandfather Sydney Dixon Davenport served as a LCpl in the 3rd battalion. He died of war wounds on 10 April 1916 in a Boulogne Hospital. I would imagine he was probably one of the soldiers seriously injured by German shelling of the trenches in the preceding month.


    Neil McCrimmon

    • Hi Neil

      Glad to hear that you found the transcription useful. When did Sydney join the Battalion? Do you know much about his service?



      • Neil McCrimmon said:

        Hi Jason

        A bit like your GGF he was a regular before the war, left and then was called up for service in 1914.

        According to my cousin, I haven’t verified this yet, he was either in the 1st or 2nd Grenadiers at the beginning of the war, was injured during one of the early battles, came back to the UK, recovered and then went out with the 3rd Grenadiers in 1915.

        Having subsequently spoken to my Dad, he thinks he was probably injured during the battle for Loos in 1915 as he was machine gunned in the legs. He also says that he was in the Kings Company before the war as he was 6 foot in height.

        I don’t know much apart from this, so I’ll probably write to the current Adjujant and see if I can get hold of his record.



      • Hi Neil

        I would be interested to find out more about the hospital system in France during 1915 as men with serious wounds (like our relatives) seem to have stayed in France rather than being evacuated to Britain. My GGF was wounded at Loos in Oct 1915 but not finally evacuated until the end of December.

        The Guards association – http://grengds.com/ – came up with a number of service documents that were really useful but I think their normal fee is £30.

        If you write up anything on the web about Sydney, i’ll happily add a link from this site.

        Good luck.


  2. Myra Johnson said:

    Dear Jason,
    Thank you transcribing these diaries. Are they exactly as the diaries or is some information excluded. I have been researching my grandfather who was in the GG 3rd batt.
    I have a letter from a resident of Mauberge France dated 1919 sent to England saying W H Wheater (private) stayed with him, and was one of the first soldiers to enter Mauberge to liberate the town.
    Unfortunately, W H Wheater died on 27th July 1919, he was discharged in February 1919 with hemiphlegia (paralysis of one side of the body) could this mean a stroke. He died from a cerebral haemorrhage in Bangor hospital. Old relatives think he was gassed during the war. The letter from Mauberge was a letter of condolences sent to a friend of his widow.

    If you have any further ideas where I could get more information, I would be most grateful.
    Regards Myra

    • Hi Myra

      Glad you have found this useful. I have attempted to copy everything from the War diaries verbatim where possible.

      If you write to the Grenadier Guards association (http://grengds.com/static.php?content_id=9) with a cheque for £30 they should be able to furnish you with your grandfathers joining up papers and record of service. This should include when he was sent to france and any official wounds and injuries.

      It sounds like your relative at least took part in the 100 days campaign that led to victory.

      Depending on how much you already know and how deep you want to go there are wider things you can search once you know what period he served and likely battles he took part in.

      Good luck with your search.


      • Myra Johnson said:

        Hi Jason, Sorry for being tardy in replying. I have most of the info the Grenadier Guards give out on request. W H Wheater 26912 went to France on the 17th March 1917 and returned obviously injured on 6th December 1918 and discharged unfit on 10th February 1919. He entered Mauberge obviously fit, so could he have died from the result of injuries or gassing sustained whilst on active service. I would like to know if he returned to the UK during the one year and 265 days out in France. Are there ways to research this further. You mentioned the 100 days campaign, where and what was this?

        Thanks for your help.

        Regards, Myra

      • Hi Myra

        Glad you managed to get some more info. If he was injured in or around Mauberge then he was unlucky enough to be one of the last casualties of the war. I feel confident that he would have had leave back to the UK during it’s service but it was very infrequent for the ordinary soldiers.

        The 100 days campaign was the final allied offensive that finally deafeted Germany in the final months of the war. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Days_Offensive
        Peter Hart’s book about this period is very good. http://www.amazon.co.uk/1918-British-Victory-Peter-Hart-ebook/dp/B004GHN2UI/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1395341511&sr=8-5&keywords=peter+hart

        You can follow (after a fashion) the 3rd GG’s part in this in the diary. They were involved in several battles but didn’t suffer anything like as badly as during battles such as the Somme. The diary also mentions 150 sick due to flu in early 1918 which is a very high proportion of the battalion.

        Hope that helps.


  3. John Frankish said:

    How wonderful. We are distantly related to you. My grandmother Eva Frances Heathcote was your grandfather’s younger sister. It is lovely to see a picture of him. We are participating in the beta trials of the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the 1st world war project and would love to add data about William to the site. Two other brothers James and Albert also served and both died on active service – one in Belgium the other in Egypt. Do you know the stories? Would love to share mutual information and any images we have.
    john Frankish

    • Hi John

      You are very welcome to add details about William to the IWM project, I’ve considered it myself. I didn’t know about his brothers, but would love to hear more about them?

      Get in touch at jasonmarkwebber [at] gmail.com



  4. Myra Johnson said:

    Hi Jason, Thanks for your prompt response. Thanks for the extra information. Anything else you may think of which would help my research would be gratefully received.

    Regards, Myra Johnson

  5. Jason,

    Thanks very much for doing all of this work. I’ve just returned to researching my relative Harold Bowes, who was killed on 15 September 1916, as it’s soon to be the 100th anniversary. Your transcription is a excellent addition to Ponsonby’s regimental history.



    • You’re welcome Mike. Same day as asquiths son and worst day of the war for the battalion.

    • Kerry Courtney said:

      A message for Mike- I have been researching the family of Harold Bowes for a close friend, who is the grandson of one of Harold’s brothers – assuming that you are talking about a Harold Bowes, whose father was Willliam Brown Bowes? I’d be interested in understanding your connection to the family… Kerry.

      • Kerry – Yes William Brown Bowes was his father (according to his sign up papers). I’m the great grandson of Harold’s sister. I have a letter and some pictures from Fred, one of Harold’s brothers, to his sister dated 1938 talking of his visit to France to visit “all the Leeds Pals battlefields” (I’m almost 100% certain Fred was in the Leeds Pals, he was certainly in the West Yorks Regiment).

        I’ve set up a temp email (so I don’t have to post my address on a public forum) if you want to contact me directly.


        Jason – Thanks gain for setting up this page.


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