Oakworth man died instantly leading his men into battle

Oakworth man died instantly leading his men into battle

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First published in Keighley

An Oakworth man who was killed in action on the Western Front was described as dying like a "proper hero".

Corporal Herbert Heaton was shot in the head while attacking enemy positions in November 1917. He is thought to have been about 27-years-old.

Before the war, Corporal Heaton was a clerk at Messrs Prince Smith and Sons. Prior to enlisting in the forces he was secretary of Oakworth Cricket Club and a member of the committee of the Mechanics Institute.

The Keighley News report on his death quotes a Private L Scott, who says: "I'm sorry to have to say that Herbert was killed in an action on November 27.

"Our company attacked the enemy and he was among the first killed. He was shot through the head by a single bullet and died instantaneously without a single moment's pain.

"We are sorry to lose him as he was very popular and respected by us all. I would like to tell you that Herbert died like a hero, well in front of his platoon."

Corporal Heaton served with the Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), and is remembered on the Cambrai Memorial at Louverval in Northern France.

He is also named on the Oakworth War Memorial and listed in the Keighley Trade and Grammar School 'Keighlian' Magazine roll of honour.

His mother, Isabella Heaton, unveiled the Oakworth War memorial in 1937.

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