10 October 2018
Alfred Harold Heath was born in 1885, the son of Aaron and Annie Heath of Cleveland House, Waterloo Road, Burslem and attended Brewood Grammar School.
He entered Harper Adams on 25 September 1902, only 17 months after the opening of the College, and left on 6 April 1906. He was in receipt of a Stafford Scholarship of £50 to attend the Diploma course. He was awarded the College Diploma in 1905 and left on 4 April 1906 having passed the final NDA.
He died on 23 July 1916 Age 30 and is remembered with honour at the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval, Somme, France. Cemetery/memorial reference: XIII. G. 9.
Caterpillar Valley was the name given by the army to the long valley which runs West to East, past "Caterpillar Wood", to the high ground at Guillemont. Longueval village is on the Northern crest of this valley and 500 metres West of the village, on the South side of the road to Contalmaison, is Caterpillar Valley Cemetery.
Caterpillar Valley was captured during a successful night assault by the 3rd, 7th and 9th Divisions on Bazentin Ridge on 14 July 1916
After the Armistice, this cemetery was hugely increased when the graves of more than 5,500 officers and men were brought in from other small cemeteries, and the battlefields of the Somme. The great majority of these soldiers died in the autumn of 1916 and almost all the rest in August or September 1918.
Corporal Heath’s grave registration document is marked as an exhumation and dated December 1920 so this may have been one of the graves moved to Caterpillar Valley Cemetery from Martinpuich Road Cemetery, Bazentin, which contained the graves of 41 soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell in July and August 1916.