Albert Heath; the soldier photographer

Albert Heath was born in Clay Cross in January 1880 and was a photographer by trade residing on Thanet Street. He married Mary Alice (nee Osbourne) in 1907 and they had at least one child; George Albert who was born in July 1910.

Albert enlisted into the 2nd Volunteer Battalion Sherwood Foresters in March 1904 and re-enlisted into the 6th Battalion Notts and Derby Regiment on the 1st April 1908. He attended all the Annual Campus between 1908 and 1914.

I have 8 Albert Heath original postcards, which appear to cluster into 3 distinct groupings based on the locations/dates and/or the style of backing.

1908-09: Scarborough Camp

Note: Although not dated, and there is no clue from the background where these two shots were taken, it is likely to have been at one of the early Camps 1908-1909 (or 1910?) because the men are wearing both the old Volunteer (cloth) and new Territorial (dress) shoulder badges (see below). Interestingly these also appear to be consecutive cards (#52 and #53).

1912: Llanfarian, Abermaide, Aberystwyth Camp

The background terrain identifies this as the 1912 Camp near Aberystwyth and once again all three cards have the same backing.

1913: The Clumber Camp

The second card bears a 1913 stamp and both share the same background.

1914: The 46th North Midland Divisional Cycling Company

On November 1914 the 46th North Midland Cyclist Company was established and Commanded by Captain BH Winder. Albert transferred to this Company and accompanied them to France on the 28th February 1915.

Captain Basil Hawthorne Winder

In June 1915 Albert ‘contracted sugar diabetes’ which at the time was not deemed ‘the result of service doubful if aggravated”

Albert was discharged on ‘Termination of Engagement’ on the 15th April 1916 having served 8 years and 7 days with the Colours.

However, War service did not leave Albert unscathed and in June 1917 Mary applied for an increase in her husband’s war pension because he was an out patient in Derby Infirmary. In August 1917 this was granted because the medical board agreed that ‘this man’s condition may be regarded aggravated by Service since declaration of War’.

Arthur died on the 17th August 1917. His son George Albert died in February 1926.

6 thoughts on “Albert Heath; the soldier photographer

  1. Mike S

    Hello. I was so pleased and interested to see the postcard of The 46th North Midland Divisional Cyclist Company. My grandad enlisted at Nottingham on 26th May 1915 with the ‘NMD Cyclist Co’. Although he seems to have joined up after the photograph was taken, I would be very grateful if you could possibly send me a higher resolution version. I’d be happy to provide my email details.
    While writing, I wondered whether you might have any thoughts / suggestions regarding my grandad’s army career? His enlistment with the NMD cyclist corps is noted on his certificate of disembodiment, and among his possessions is a badge of the Sherwood Foresters. Although we have no other evidence of his time with the cyclists corps / NMD, according to my mum, he spent time in Ireland, involved in recruitment. As far as I know, the NMD cyclist corps never went to Ireland, so if he did go to Ireland, I wondered whether it might have been with another unit, perhaps even one of the Sherwood Foresters Battalions that were involved in the Irish rebellion of 1916 (so something rather different from recruitment)? We do know that he joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment, 19th Battalion at some point (regimental number 57671). All his other possessions and records relate to the KLR. He was married on 26th November 1916. On Easter Monday, 9th April 1917 he was wounded during the Second Battle of Arras, and invalided home. He was taken prisoner on the second day of the Battle of St. Quentin (22nd March 1918), and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Germany.

      1. Mike S

        Yes that’s right! He was christened Jim. but he might be referred to as James in some official records. Thanks v much for getting back to me, and for your other reply. Anything you’re able to work out would be much appreciated.

      2. mikebriggs1910 Post author

        Evening Mike. I have had a quick search and have really only found his service with the 19th KLR (#57671), which was a service Battalion formed in 1914. However, there is a record of his pension that records several other service numbers: 207, 15599 and 2972. Now those 4-digit numbers could very well be Territorial numbers, therefore not ruling out that he served with the 46th Division. I’m not an expert on the KLR, but I had a quick look through surviving service records and it looks like the 5**** numbers were issued around September 1916 – suggesting he was transferred to the 19 KLR at that point. I’m happy to send you the documents that I have found if you let me have your email – cheers Mike

  2. mikebriggs1910 Post author

    Hello Mike, glad you like the photo and happy to send you a better copy, although TBH the version that I was sent is probably not much better. Let me check who sent it because I think there was a family connection to the photographer. You’re right the 46th never went to Ireland – let me have a dig around on line and see if I can up with anymore info you, cheers Mike

  3. Mike S

    Thanks very much Mike for taking a look for me. I would be very interested to see the documents that you found, if you could send them to I wasn’t aware of the pension record, nor the other service numbers, as they are not included on the documents that we have copies of. Thanks again, Mike S.


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