Edward Jesse HEATH
Rank: Private
Number: 62
Unit: 53 Division ARMY CYCLIST CORPS
Date of Death: 8 Decmeber 1915
Age: 20
Cemetery: Helles Memorial, Turkey

He was always known as Jess, to distinguish him from his father, Edward Jesse Heath. Between October and December 1894, Edward had married Margaret H Green at St Mary's Church, Stockport and Jess was born a couple of years later. In 1898, his sister Margaret was born and two years later, Christiana. In 1901, at the time of the Census, the family home was at 95 Castle Street where, no doubt, Edward carried out his trade as a bootmaker.

Jess will have been an early volunteer for the army and his service number indicates he must have been an original member of the Divisional Cyclist Company which was formed in May 1915. The Company was intended for reconnaissance and despatch rider duties, but it is unlikely that it was used for its intended purpose until after Jess' death.

In July 1915, the Division went overseas in early July, stopping off at Egypt before landing at Gallipoli as reinforcements on 9 August. The invasion of the Turkish peninsula was a failure from the first day and, on the day he died, the evacuation started. The members of the Cyclist Company will, no doubt, have been used as regular infantry troops. Regimental records, published after the war, record that Jess died of wounds he had received, but it is not known when he was injured or in what circumstances. He must have received medical attention at one of the beachhead Casualty Clearing Stations (mobile surgical hospital) and been properly buried. However, the location of many graves, including Jess', was lost over the following years of war and he is now commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing at the southern end of the peninsula.

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