51585 Private Ralph Heaviside, 22nd (Tyneside Scottish) battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers died of wounds 6 September 1918 and is buried at Pernes British Cemetery, France.[1]  He was 18 years old and is commemorated on the Evenwood War Memorial and the Roll of Honour, St. Paul’s Church, Evenwood.

Ralph Heaviside at 18 years of age was the youngest man from Evenwood to be killed in the Great War.

Family Details

Ralph was born in 1899 [2] at Evenwood to Richard and Mary Elizabeth[3] Heaviside.  There were 8 children:

  • Mary Hannah bc.1892 at Evenwood
  • Margaret bc.1894 at Evenwood
  • Maud bc.1896 at Evenwood
  • Susannah (Cissy) bc.1898 at Evenwood
  • Ralph bc.1899 at Evenwood
  • John George bc.1903 at Evenwood
  • William bc.1905 at Toft Hill
  • Phoebe bc.1907 at Toft Hill

The 1901 census confirms that the Heaviside family lived at Alpine Terrace, Evenwood.  [4]   By 1911, the family lived at the 26 the Oaks, Evenwood and 33 year old Richard worked as a coal miner (hewer).[5]

 Military Details

 Ralph Heaviside enlisted at Sunderland and joined the Northumberland Fusiliers (22nd Battalion) and was given the regimental number 51585.[6]  The service details of Private R. Heaviside have not been researched.

The 22nd (Service) Battalion (3rd Tyneside Scottish) was formed at Newcastle 5 November 1914.  In June 1915, it was attached to the 102nd Brigade, 34th Division.[7]  17 May 1918 it was reduced to cadre strength and 18 June 1918 returned to England with the 16th (Irish) Division then attached to the 48th Brigade, 16th Division which landed in France July 1918. [8]  At this time, the 48th Brigade comprised: [9]

  • 8/9th Bn., the Royal Dublin Fusiliers joined October 1917
  • 22nd Bn., the Northumberland Fusiliers
  • 18th Bn., Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
  • 11th Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers (absorbed by 5th Bn., 29 August 1918)
  • 5th Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers joined 25 August 1918

It is likely that Private R. Heaviside entered France in July 1918 with 22/NF and the 48th Brigade.  The 16th (Irish) Division was involved in the Final Advance in Artois 2 October – 11 November 1918 but Private R. Heaviside died of wounds before this engagement.  The War Diaries of the 22nd Battalion, the Northumberland Fusiliers have not been researched therefore the circumstances of his death are unknown.  Private Ralph Heaviside died of wounds 6 September 1918.  Later research records that 22/NF lost 5 Other Ranks killed in action 6 September 1918 and 2 Other Ranks died of wounds including 51585 Private Ralph Heaviside.[10]

Given the date of his death he received wounds in action prior to the Final Advance in Artois.  His wounds were probably received as a result of the usual violence of warfare – shell fire, machine gun or rifle fire.  Given that there were several casualties probably shell fire is the most likely cause.  He was probably taken to a Casualty Clearing Station, failed to respond to treatment and died there.

The Pernes British Cemetery operated from April 1918 when the 1st and 4th Canadian Casualty Clearing Stations came to Pernes, driven back by the German advance.  Then in May, the 6th and 22nd Clearing Stations arrived and finally in August they were joined by the 13th.  Almost all the burials were made by these units but a few graves were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice.[11]

Private R. Heaviside was awarded the British War and Victory medals.[12]


Private Ralph Heaviside is at grave reference VI.A.32 Pernes British Cemetery.  Pernes-en-Artois is a small town on the main road from Lillers to St. Pol, in the region of Pas-de-Calais, France.  There are 1,075 First World War burials.  Mrs. M.E. Heaviside provided the following epitaph: [13]

Far From Home

He Lies At Rest

We Miss Him Most

Who Loved Him Best


Private R. Heaviside is commemorated on the Evenwood War Memorial and the Roll of Honour, St. Paul’s Church, Evenwood.

 Family Headstone

 The headstone for Richard and Mary Elizabeth Heaviside includes the following epitaph:

“And of their beloved sons

RALPH killed in action in Germany

6th September 1918 aged 18 years”


[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission

[2] England & Wales Birth Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.271 Auckland 1899 Q1

[3] 1901 census Mary 1911 census Elizabeth

[4] 1901 census

[5] 1911 census

[6] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[7] http://www.1914-1918.net/northfus.htm

[8] http://www.1914-1918.net/34div.htm

[9] http://www.1914-1918.net/16div.htm

[10] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[11] CWGC

[12] Medal Roll

[13] CWGC


HEAVISIDE R. Headstone


HEAVISIDE R. Family Headstone Evenwood Cemetery

Family Headstone
Evenwood Cemetery