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Thomas Remmer Heaviside (1886-1943)

Brother of Michael Heaviside VC joined the Canadian army

Born in 1886 in Kimblesworth, Thomas Heaviside was the second son of local colliery inspector John Wilson Heaviside and his wife, Anne. Thomas’s older brother Michael Wilson Heaviside was one of Durham’s Victoria Cross heroes, awarded his medal by King George V in July 1917.

After his mother died in 1897, the family moved to Sacriston and Thomas found work at the colliery and, like his older brother, he too joined the army reserve. By 1911 Thomas had left home and was working at Elvet Pit, boarding in Church Street, Durham City. The following year he sailed steerage from Southampton to Quebec on board the SS Ascania heading for a new life in Canada. On the ship’s manifest he stated he was making for Hamilton, Ontario and after five years as a miner he intended to do any work, which was later changed to read farmer.

It is not known where Thomas settled, but when he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in July 1915 he did so at Camp Niagara in Toronto. He became Private 451854 of B Company 58th Battalion, gave his father in Sacriston as his next of kin. He also mentioned that he was part of an active militia group and it was noted that his initials were tattooed on his left wrist. His medical examination also records scars on his back as relics of his mining days and, even though he was deaf in his right ear, and had been since childhood, he was passed as fit for active service.

At the end of November the Battalion left for England, and in February 1916 left the camp at Bramshott for billets at St. Sylveste Cappel to became part of the 9th Brigade 3rd Canadian Division in France. In mid May Thomas was evacuated from France on a hospital ship suffering from tachycardia and was in hospital in Cardiff, followed by convalescence at Bearwood near Reading, Berkshire. His medical notes said that he had suffered palpitations since 1911 and had reported sick many times with his heart; he was placed in category D, fit for base duty only, and transferred to 2nd Ontario Regiment Depot. Then, in April 1917, he was set to work with the Canadian Army Medical Corps at Westenhanger, Kent followed by a posting to the Canadian General Hospital at Ramsgate.

On leave in July 1917 (had he returned to Durham to see his brother Michael’s homecoming?), Thomas was late in returning to camp and forfeited two days’ pay. After a stay hospital with gonorrhoea in October 1917, he was granted permission to marry in December, which he did on 5th January 1918 when he married Emily Lofthouse in Langley Moor. Thomas spent most of 1918 working at No. 5 Canadian Military Hospital in Liverpool and remained there until he was finally discharged from the CEF in England on 18th August 1919.

Going to Langley Moor to live with Emily, they had a son, Reginald born in December 1920. Emily died in 1924 and at sometime Thomas and Reginald moved to live in Kettering, Northamptonshire, where Thomas died in 1943.

Civil Parish: Brandon and Byshottles

Birth date: 22-Nov-1886

Death date: 1943

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 18 Charles Street, Kimblesworth (1891 census)
Gas House Cottages, Sacriston (1901 census)
3 Anchorage Terrace, Church Street, Durham (1911 census)
57 High Street North, Langley Moor (service record)
3 Priors Path, Redhills Lane, Durham (service record)

Religion: Church of England

Employment: miner (1911 census)
Labourer (enlistment papers)

Family: Parents: John Wilson Heaviside, Annie Heaviside nee Fawell
Siblings: Michael Wilson Heaviside, Ethel Heaviside, Annie Heaviside
Wife: Emily Heaviside nee Lofthouse
Children: Reginald Heaviside

Military service:

Durham Light Infantry Territorials (pre-war)
Private 451854
58th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force
2nd Central Ontario Regiment Depot
Canadian Army Medial Corps

Medal(s): British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jean Longstaff, Durham

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