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6 May 2017
Special Duties Operator (Air Gunner) – Flying Officer John Heggarty, 179888, RAFVR

 

Flying Officer John Heggarty, 179888 (previously 1238295), RAFVR, was the German-speaking Special Duties Operator (Air Gunner), who flew with the Crew of Halifax NA240 Z5-V in 462 Squadron at Foulsham, Norfolk. His date of birth was 13 August 1922. He was killed on 10 April 1945.

This page was updated for publication on 6 November 2013, after being contacted in September 2013 by John Heggarty's nephew Michael (son of John's sister Annie and her husband Isaac Wilkinson). He provided additional family information and photos, including one of John as a Leading Aircraftman in training during 1941. Genealogy and 1911 census information was also updated.

On 6 March 2013, this web page was updated, after three photos of John Heggarty had been located. Additional personal information about John and his family, and some family photos below had been received from his cousins in April & November 2011.

Also as of 6 March 2013, new sections were added to John Heggarty's web page – his pre-WW2 education at St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, and details of an Op to Hamburg on 27 July 1943, during his posting to 76 Squadron RAF at Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire in 1943.
All of John's known 76 Squadron Ops carried out during his posting there, were added for November 2013 update (extracted from 76 Sqdn ORBs).

My thanks are extended to Paul Radcliffe, William Iveson & Kevin Ford of the Anselmian Association, and Simon Duggan (Headmaster) and Andy Rumsby (Deputy Headmaster), Tommy McCann (The Ridings) and Helen (reception) at St Anselm's College, Birkenhead for information received, personal meetings, visits to the College, and permission to use photos from the St Anselm's College photo collection. John's cousins Viv and Jeffrey also were invaluable in supplying family information and relevant scans of books and letters which assisted in identifying John Heggarty in the new photos. Viv also located the listing of a F/Sgt J.Heggarty in 76 Squadron RAF via internet forums. After further investigation, he was found to be the same F/O John Heggarty later in 462 Squadron RAAF. Thanks also go to Michael Harrison and Myles Measey of the Bombercrew.com forum, various members of the rafcommands.com forum, and Neil of the Halifax forum who contributed information on 76 Squadron RAF, copies of 76 Squadron ORBs, and scans of "To See the Dawn Breaking" by W.R.Chorley. I am grateful to W.R. (Bill) Chorley for allowing the use of pages 81 and 105 from his book on this tribute website.

Information included below is from F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd's personal papers, 462 Squadron Air Crew Arrival Form, details of his M.I.D. and Promotions published in The London Gazette, Enlistment and known Service History Summary, Operational Flights at 462 Squadron, Special Duties Equipment and Operators, Casualty files, CWGC, as well as questions about John Heggarty.

To obtain his RAFVR Service Files, written permission is required from his closest living next-of-kin. This has been received from first cousins from both sides of John Heggarty's family. Contact has also been made by his sister's son.
Genealogical informationbirths, marriages and deaths, and census records have been included.

If you can you assist with further photos or information, please make contact.

 

Sgt John Heggarty, 1238295 RAFVR, on 27 July 1943, Halifax DK188, MP-J, 76 Squadron RAF (later Officer 179888 posted to 462 Squadron).

 

 

 

Flight Sergeant John Heggarty, 1238295, RAFVR, on 27 July 1943 while posted to 76 Squadron RAF, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire.
(This portrait of John was cut from the photo of the crew of Halifax DK188 MP-J shown below).

His age at that time was 20 years and 11 months, just a few weeks before his 21st birthday (birth date 13/08/1922).

His crew position was Rear Air Gunner.

After John received his Commission, his service number became 179888.

The Heggarty 'dimple', also inherited by other Heggarty family members, can be seen in his chin.

(Source of photo: To See The Dawn Breaking, by W.R. Chorley, page 105. Permission to use was received from W.R.Chorley by email 12 November 2012.)

 

Pilot Elder and Crew, including Sgt John Heggarty 1238295 RAFVR, on 27 July 1943, with Halifax DK188, MP-J, 76 Squadron, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire (later Officer 179888, 462 Squadron).

 

 

The Crew of Halifax DK188, MP-J, 76 Squadron RAF, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, before departure on Ops, on 27 July 1943.
(Link to larger photo of this crew.)

The caption for the photo from page 105 in the book 'To See The Dawn Breaking' by W.R. Chorley reads:-  "Pilot Officer Bill Elder RNZAF sits on top of a servicing ladder shortly before taking off for Hamburg on 27th July 1943. Within hours of the photo being taken the airman standing second down from the right, Sergeant Smith was dead, killed by a cannon shell. Above him with one hand resting on a propeller blade is a youthful Sergeant Berry assisted the pilot in the subsequent crash landing of their aircraft."

None of the other Aircrew are identified in the book, however Walter Berry has been identified as the blond airman to the left of Pilot Elder, not to the right (see comments later by the son of Berry's niece).

F/Sgt John Heggarty is seated, bottom left of the photo. He is the only one wearing a sheepskin jacket, suitable for combating the cold in the rear turret. He was identified by comparison with his school photos.

(Source of photo: To See The Dawn Breaking, by W.R. Chorley, page 105. Permission to use was received from W.R.Chorley by email 12 November 2012.)

 

Leading Aircraftman John Heggarty 1238295 (on right) in 1941 (later Officer 179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham), with Ron outside Matopos Hotel, Bulawayo, Rhodesia.

 

 

 

Photo during training, some time in 1941.

Leading Aircraftman John Heggarty, 1238295 (later 179888, RAFVR) is on the right, with his LAC badge visible on his left sleeve. His later known postings included to 76 Squadron RAF (photo above) based at Linton-on-Ouse and Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire, and to 462 Squadron RAAF, Foulsham. John would have celebrated his 19th birthday on 13th August 1941.

News flash 7 Nov 2013: the rather distinctive building has been identified as the Matopos Hotel near Bulawayo in Rhodesia. This must mean John was undertaking air gunnery training somewhere in Rhodesia under the Empire Air Training Scheme (E.A.T.S.). More info will be added after further investigation.

On the left of the photo is Ron (no further identification). If you can identify Ron, please make contact.

Photo is from the Wilkinson Family Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of M. Wilkinson, October 2013.

 

 

 

John Heggarty and the St Anselm's College Rugby team, 1937-1938 (later 1238295/179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).

 

 

St Anselm's College 1st XV Rugby team, 1937-1938.

G.Little, F.K.Smith, J.Heggarty, A.Quinn, D.Hely, T.Dureen, C.Stormont, H.McBride
T.Roche, P.Hogan, L.McBride, R.Doleman, L.Bebbington, J.Reid, T.Murphy.

St Anselm's College is at Manor Hill, Birkenhead, Wirral in Cheshire. The original framed photograph was located on the wall in the pavilion at the college sports field "The Ridings", by the St Anselm's College staff and Old Anselmians. All of the boys are named, so this photo confirmed the identity of John Heggarty. He is in the back row, third from the left (an enlarged portrait of him below.

Several of these boys are recognizable in the original 1937 College photo, a smaller version of which is shown below.

(Source: St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, used with permission of the College Trustees/Governors, email 30/01/2013.)

 

John Heggarty in the St Anselm's College Rugby team, 1937-1938 (later 1238295/179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).

 

 

 

 

 

John Heggarty in the St Anselm's College 1st XV Rugby team, 1937-1938. He would have been about 15 to 16 years old (birth date 13/08/1922).
(This portrait of John was was cut from the photo of the Rugby team shown above.)

The Heggarty "dimple" in his chin is quite obvious.

In this photo, John is very similar to that that taken on 27 July 1943, at 76 Squadron, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, when he was a month off his 21st birthday. His smile exudes confidence, similar to the Aircrew photo.

(Source: St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, used with permission of the College Trustees/Governors, email 30/01/2013.)

 

St Anselm's College pupils 1937 (John Heggarty, later 1238295/179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).

 

Crest of St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, 2012.Above: St Anselm's College, Birkenhead. King George VI Coronation Year, 1937. The original photo was taken by Panora Ltd., London W.C.1. It is a large framed print located in an internal hallway of the College, along with several other Year photos of College students, as well as photos of former Headmasters. As it was too large to scan, three digital photos were taken of the original, and these were later stitched together. The reflections are from light entry through high windows on the opposite wall.
Front row seated on ground 29 students, 2nd row seated 30, 3rd row standing 36 and 4th (rear) row 34, giving a total of 129 students for the Year photo.
John Heggarty has been identified in the 3rd row, 2nd from the left, with an enlargement below. Several boys in the Rugby team can also be seen.
(Source: St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, used with permission of the College Trustees/Governors, email 30/01/2013.)

Left: Current Crest of St Anselm's College, mounted on a wooden plaque, which was presented to this Author by staff of the College during a visit there on 19 July 2012. (E.M.A.Hibberd photo, Copyright 2012)

 

 

John Heggarty at St Anselm's College, 1937 (later 1238295/179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).

 

 

 

John Heggarty at St Anselm's College, 1937.
(This portrait of John was was cut from the 1937 College photo shown above.)

Again, the Heggarty "dimple" in his chin is evident. However he looks younger than in the Rugby team photo above, so the College photo may have been taken earlier in the year, before his 15th birthday (birth date 13/08/1922).

(Source: St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, used with permission of the College Trustees/Governors, email 30/01/2013.)

 

"Board of Remembrance" at St Anselms College, Birkenhead listing "OLD BOYS KILLED IN ACTION 1939-45" including "J. Heggarty RAF" (1238295/179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).

 

 

 

"Board of Remembrance" at the St Anselms College, Birkenhead. This is a memorial for twelve "Old Boys" of the College who served and lost their lives during WW2.

At the top the Board is written "OLD BOYS KILLED IN ACTION 1939-45" followed by the names of the 12 "Old Boys".

The name of "J.P.Heggarty RAF" may be seen on the left side, 4th from the top, as indicated by the blue arrow.

After the names, at the base is written "REQUIESCANT IN PACE".

This photo was supplied by and used with the permission of the Anselmian Association (Old Boys of St Anselms College), Copyright 2011.

 

Private John (Jack) Heggarty, WW1 Cheshire Regiment, father of Flying Oficer John Heggarty (179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron, WW2)

 

 

At left Private John (Jack) Heggarty, father of F/O John Heggarty.
This undated photo was taken sometime during Jack's WW1 service.

Jack Heggarty enlisted in March 1915. and was posted as a Private to the 2nd Battalion, Cheshire Regiment, with Service Number 25466. He served in France, and Salonica. While stationed at Salonica, Jack was transferred to the 84th Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) of the 2nd Bn., Cheshire Regiment, with his Service Number changed to 49406. Jack Heggarty was demobilised in March 1919. (For more details of Jack's WW1 service, please see the Heggarty genealogy section.)

If you can assist with any Heggarty family photos, please make contact

Photo is from the Heggarty collection, supplied by and used with the permission of V.Brundell and family.

 

Annie (Nan) and Isaac (Ike) Wilkinson, September 1940. Nan was the older sister of F/O John Heggarty (179888 RAFVR 462 Squadron, WW2)

 

At left Annie (Nan) Wilkinson and her husband Isaac (Ike) Wilkinson. Nan was the older sister of F/O John Heggarty. This photo was taken in September 1940 during Ike Wilkinson's WW2 service. At that time, Nan and Ike were living in Longridge near Preston in Lancashire. They had married in 1938, and had 2 children, a daughter in 1939 (who died within 3 months of birth) and a son in 1946. Nan and Ike were both born in 1915.

Ike served with the Highland Light Infantry, Service Number 3325533. The HLI cap and shoulder badges are visible. It appears that Nan is also wearing a brooch with the HLI insignia. The photo may have been taken prior to Ike's overseas service in North Africa and Italy.

Contact was made in September 2013 by Nan and Ike's son, who provided additional family information, as well as photos which have now been added to this web site page.

Photo is from the Heggarty collection, supplied by and used with the permission of V.Brundell and family.

 

 

Isaac Wilkinson, 3325533, Highland Light Infantry, WW2 (portrait).

Isaac Wilkinson, 3325533, Highland Light Infantry, WW2. In this undated and coloured studio photo, his uniform indicates service in North Africa and/or the Middle East.
Photo is from the Wilkinson Family Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of M. Wilkinson, October 2013.

 

Isaac Wilkinson, 3325533, Highland Light Infantry, WW2 (full length).

Isaac Wilkinson, 3325533, Highland Light Infantry, WW2. This undated studio photo with background of pyramids and camel, indicates service in North Africa and/or the Middle East.
Photo is from the Wilkinson Family Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of M. Wilkinson, October 2013.

 

 

Isaac Wilkinson, 3325533, Highland Light Infantry, WW2, on horseback.

 

 

Isaac Wilkinson, 3325533, Highland Light Infantry (right), and unidentified fellow serviceman (left) on horseback. The photo is undated and the location is not recorded, however it may be somewhere in Italy.

Ike's WW2 medals, currently held by his son, include the Africa Star, and the Italy Star. According to the regimental medals internet site www.northeastmedals.co.uk, The Africa Star was awarded for service in North Africa between 10th June 1940 and 12th May 1943; and The Italy Star for Army service in Italy (and elsewhere in the Mediterranean) between 11th June 1943 and 8th May  1945, and in Sicily between 11th June and 17th August 1943.
Of the Battalions of the Highland Light Infantry which served overseas in WW2, only the 2nd Battalion served in North Africa and the Middle East, and later in Sicily/Italy. Therefore it may be concluded that Isaac Wilkinson served in the 2nd Battalion, HLI, from at least September 1940 (photo with wife Annie/Nan above), until demobilisation in 1945.

Photo is from the Wilkinson Family Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of M. Wilkinson, October 2013.

 

 

Annie Wilkinson (née Heggarty) in Dunderdale Street, Longridge, Lancashire, 1945 (sister of John Heggarty, 1238295/179888 RAFVR 462 Squadron).

Annie Wilkinson (née Heggarty), sister of John Heggarty, in Dunderdale Street, Longridge, Lancashire, 1945, with pet dog. Annie/Nan appears to be in her nursing uniform. The photo was taken after Isaac/Ike was demobbed from the Army in 1945.
Photo is from the Wilkinson Family Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of M. Wilkinson, October 2013.

 

Isaac Wilkinson, in Dunderdale Street, Longridge, Lancashire, 1945 (brother-in-law of John Heggarty, 1238295/179888 RAFVR 462 Squadron).

Isaac Wilkinson, brother-in-law of John Heggarty, in Dunderdale Street, Longridge, Lancashire, 1945, with pet dog. The photo was taken after Isaac/Ike was demobbed from the Army in 1945, and at about the same time as that of Annie/Nan.
Photo is from the Wilkinson Family Collection, supplied by and used with the permission of M. Wilkinson, October 2013.

 

Grave site of John William and Ellen HEGGARTY (née Ledger), Grave number 6R/104, Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey, Cheshire (parents of F/O John HEGGARTY, 179888 RAFVR, 462 Squadron).

 

Both of John Heggarty's parents are buried in the Roman Catholic section of Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey, Grave number 6R/104.  There is no headstone, however a memorial plaque was added in 2012 (see below). Ellen Heggarty was buried on September 2nd 1922, aged 40 years.  She had lived at 2 Pear Tree Grove, Wallasey.  Her husband, John William Heggarty was buried on May 31st 1932, aged 42 years and was of the same address. In the picture the Heggarty grave site is directly behind the Walsh headstone, and is approximately outlined in blue.

John Heggarty was born on the 13 August 1922, so was just 3 weeks old when his mother died. His father died 2½ months before John's 10th birthday.

This photo was supplied by and used with the permission of the "Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery", Copyright 2011.

 

Memorial plaque for the grave of John William Heggarty and Ellen Heggarty (née Ledger), Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey.

 

Memorial plaque for the grave of John Heggarty's parents – his father John William Heggarty and his mother Ellen Heggarty (née Ledger), Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey, Grave number 6R/104.

The Brundell family arranged for the manufacture of the memorial plaque, for placement on the previously unmarked grave. It was photographed in position with flowers on 20 October 2012. It reads ....

In Loving Memory of
John William Heggarty died 1932
and his wife Ellen Heggarty née Ledger
died 1922
Rest in Peace

Photo supplied by and used with the permission of V. Brundell and family, Copyright 2012.

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John Heggarty – personal and family information.
Information was supplied by John Heggarty’s cousin and 2nd cousin (relationship through Jack Heggarty’s younger sister Margaret).
John was the second child of John and Ellen Heggarty, who were known as Jack and Nellie. Annie, known as Nan, was John’s older sister. Jack’s father, also named John, was married to Margaret (née Brett). Margaret and John had four children, daughter Frances who died of illness at around 21, son John (Jack), son Stephen and youngest daughter Margaret. Their mother Margaret died young but their father did not remarry. The four children lived with him and the oldest daughter Frances brought them up.
The previous Heggarty generation, William and his wife Mary, were both of Irish descent.

The Heggarty lineage is F/O John HEGGARTY, his parents John (Jack) and Ellen (Nellie), grand-parents John and Margaret, and Great-grandparents William and Mary.

After his father Jack’s death, John (later Flying Officer) went to live with his wealthy aunt. He was educated at St. Anselms College in Birkenhead which was very respected at that time. His older sister Nan did not live with the Aunt and her brother John, but later married Isaac (Ike) Wilkinson and went to live in Longridge near Preston in northern England (photo above taken in 1940).

Jack’s wife Ellen (Nellie) was a fine pianist and was very ‘delicate’ with blonde hair and blue eyes, unlike the dark Jack. Jack served in the Great War, and his war medal (held by the cousins) says Cheshire Regiment.

Information received in September/October 2013 from John Heggarty's nephew, son of John's sister Annie and her husband Isaac Wilkinson.
Annie was aged 17 and already working when her father John/Jack died in 1932, which is probably why she was not fostered by her Aunt Louisa May Ledger. Annie trained, and later worked as a qualified nurse at Whittingham Psyciatric Hospital (now closed) near Longridge. She and Isaac met at a dance hall in Preston, and married in September 1938, when Annie and Isaac were both aged 23. In Longridge they lived in Chapel and Dunderdale Streets. Please see photos in previous section of Annie and Isaac in 1940 prior to his overseas Army service with the Highland Light Infantry; photos of Isaac in uniform during WW2; and photos of Annie & Isaac with their pet dog outside 1 Dunderdale street in 1945 after Isaac had been demobbed. Annie was born on 20 Feb 1915, and died on 26 Feb 2005. Isaac was born on 8 August 1915 and died on 25 April 1987.Genealogy for the Wilkinson family has also been updated (November 2013).
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John Heggarty – Pre-WW2 education at St Anselm's College, Birkenhead, Cheshire.

St Anselm's College, a Roman Catholic Grammar School for Boys aged 11 to 18, was founded in 1933 and celebrated it's 80th Anniversary in September 2013. The College is located at Manor Hill, Birkenhead, Merseyside, CH43 1UQ. The Games Field is at "The Ridings", Beryl Road, Noctorum, Merseyside CH43 9XZ. During a visit to the UK in 2012, I was able to visit the College to take photographs, as well as meet with Anselmians Bill Iveson and Kevin Ford. Kevin was a student at the College between 1934 and 1940. He was a friend of John Heggarty, and I was able to listen to his reminiscences about their school days at St Anselm's College in the 1930s. Bill had previously met with Kevin, so I also received written notes of their earlier discussions. Some of that information was published in the October 2012 Anselmian Association Newsletter, page 2. A summary follows, with St Anselm's College abbreviated to SAC. Additional comments are in italics. (My apologies for any incorrect spelling of names or locations – please advise errors so corrections can be made.) .......

Kevin Ford's personal recollection of John was that he was of average height for his age, with broad shoulders and solid build, and black hair, and was of Irish descent (see school photos above).

While at school John Heggarty's family lived in the Tower Street/Rossett Place area of Liscard in Wallasey near the Convent in Mill Lane. (John had lived with his father and sister Annie at 2 Pear Tree Grove in Wallasey until his father's death in May 1932; John later lived at 19 Castle Road, Wallasey with his Aunt Louisa May Ledger.)

John won a Scholarship from St Alban's Roman Catholic Primary School, Liscard in about 1936-1937 and enrolled at SAC as a 3rd year student. (See 1937 School photo above. As John's attendance at SAC was facilitated by this Scholarship, his Aunt may not have been as wealthy as originally thought.)

Some of the Wallasey 'gang' who were at SAC with John Heggarty were Kevin Ford and Tony (TA) Smith (who both started at SAC in 1934, and Tony later taught there), John Moor and Denis Walton (of Dinmore Road, Wallasey). Smith and Moor are now both deceased. The girls in the 'gang' were Gaye (Gabrielle) Griffiths (who later married Kevin Ford, but who had also gone out with John Heggarty when both were school kids), Pauline Diamond, Dioreen Norris (all three from Maris Stella) and Lavinia Partridge (from Holt Hall Convent). John cycled from his home in Wallasey to school at SAC. He and Kevin and TA often cycled around the Liscard and Birkenhead areas together.

There was no playing field at the school in the early days, and sporting activities took place near Duck & Lily Pond (now tennis courts). "The Ridings" sports field was later purchased. It was initially without a Pavilion but one was built later. John Heggarty played Rugby and he is identified in the photo of the SAC First XV 1937-1938 Rugby Team shown above. The original framed photo is displayed on the wall in the Pavilion at "The Ridings".

The first Garden Fete for the College was held in the Open Air Theatre in the grounds of "Outwood", the Christian Brothers' House. "Speech Day" was held at Gladstone Hall, Port Sunlight. Prior to the war, the boys at SAC were given lessons in Ballroom Dancing and Elocution by Elsie Elsby and Marjorie Kelly, who also organised dances with girls from the local Convent schools. The boys were required to wear white gloves to reduce contact with the girls, and to avoid sweaty hands! (In late 2012 "Outwood" was being refurbished to provide a new Sixth Form Centre, due for occupation during the February half-term 2013.)

The original uniform was brown with yellow edging, but the modern uniform is royal blue.
The original College Motto was "Omnia probate quod bonum est tenete" – Latin for "Try all things; hold on to that which is good." This was replaced by the current Motto "Fides quaerens intellectum" – Latin for "Faith seeking understanding." (Photo of current College crest on a wooden plaque shown previously.)

The first Headmaster was Rev. Brother B. McDonald (1933-1936), later followed by Bro. J. B. Thompson from 1936-1942. Some of the teachers who would have taught John were: Bob Stevenson and Brother Creese (Science); Bro. Thomas (Maths); Bro. Charlie Malone (English and Latin); Joe "Froggy" Furlong (French); Bro. Murray (French and Geography); Bro. Francis (History, Sports and Rugby); "Push" Borastonawski (singing) and Mr Kruger (Orchestra). John Heggarty was not in the orchestra, however Kevin Ford played the violin.

At College John was fluent in French and Latin, and Kevin said John was good at languages. He recalls John reciting "Hail Marys" in French. However, German was not taught at St Anselm's College, so Kevin was not aware of how John learnt that that language (His fluency in German was later used during his posting at 462 Squadron).

In 1939 when War was declared, Kevin Ford was 15 (born 1924) and John Heggarty was 17 (born August 1922). John became an ARP (Air Raid Precaution) Messenger until he later joined the RAFVR. He delivered his messages on a bicycle and wore a helmet with a large M on the front and on the rear, and of course carried his respirator issued by the Civil Defence. During the War, "The Ridings" sports field was taken over by the Army for Ack-Ack (anti-aircraft gun placements). Kevin was still at School during the Blitz of Liverpool and Birkenhead, and his family was bombed out several times, forcing their repeated relocation. Pupils from SAC were evacuated via Oswestry to Newtown, south-west of Welshpool in Wales, where classes continued, and Mass was celebrated in the local cinema on Sunday mornings. SAC staff who were evacuated with the pupils were Miss Magee (Music/Vocal), Bro. Francis, Bro. Thompson (Headmaster), Bro. O'Leary (Maths/Geometry) and Bob Stevenson (prior to his Army call-up). Pupils who were evacuated included Kevin Ford, TA Smith and Denis Walton (the previously mentioned Wallasey 'gang'), Harry Morris, Saunders, Gary Anderson, Will Parry, Ken Smith and Reg Smith.

Kevin's last remembered sighting of John was near Mary Mount Convent. John was wearing his RAF officer's great coat and Officer's cap, with his respirator slung over his shoulder. He was coming off leave and was running to catch the train. They shouted and waved hello to each other as John rushed past. Kevin later heard that John's aircraft was missing and then learnt of his death. He cannot remember any report in local newspapers but his death was known by local hearsay. Kevin was not aware that John Heggarty had been Mentioned in Despatches, but had known that John had received his Commission.

Old Boys who died on Active Service 1939-45 (also listed in October 2012 Anselmian Association Newsletter, page 8) see photo of "Board of Remembrance" above ......

OLD BOYS KILLED IN ACTION 1939-45
W. COOPER R.A.F. R.T.McLEAN R.A.F.
G.DUFFEY R.A.F. A.QUINN ARMY
G.H.HATFIELD R.N. J.T.SHANNON R.A.F.
J.P.HEGGARTY R.A.F. B.J.SUDLOW R.A.F.
F.P.KELLY R.A.F. A.VICK R.A.F.
G.H.LITTLE R.A.F. A.J.McBRIDE ARMY KOREA
REQUIESCANT IN PACE

Comparing this list with the names in the St Anselm's College 1st XV 1937-1938 Rugby team photo also shown above, it is possible that three of the Rugby team died during WW2
G.Little, back row, 1st on left;
J.P.Heggarty, back row, 3rd from the left; (It has not been determined what the 'P' is for, as his birth certificate only records the name John Heggarty.)
A.Quinn, back row, 4th from the left beside Heggarty.

St Anselm's College 1st XV 1937-1938 Rugby team (as recorded on the original photo)
G.Little, F.K.Smith, J.Heggarty, A.Quinn, D.Hely, T.Dureen, C.Stormont, H.McBride,
T.Roche, P.Hogan, L.McBride, R.Doleman, L.Bebbington, J.Reid, T.Murphy.

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John Heggarty – 76 Squadron RAF, Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

From 76 Sqn ORB's, Form 540 Summary of Events (AIR 27 651 from Public Record Office / The National Archives) .... (quote) ....

Posting in of Aircrew
Linton-on-Ouse 3/4/43
Sgt. W.E. Elder, Pilot, Sgt. G.A. House (sic) (Air Bomber), Sgt. A. Wood (Navigator), Sgt. P.B. Clarke (WOP/AG)
Sgt. W. Berry (F/Engineer), Sgt. A. Smith and Sgt. Heggarty (both Air Gunners) posted from
No. 1658 Conversion Unit, Riccall.

Bombercrew.com forum with topic "Halifax MP-J – Serial number" between February and November 2012.
Information from Mike Harrison, September 2012 ........ (as quoted on the forum, extra info and comments in italics below this quote)

"27th July 1943:

76 Squadron
Halifax V DK188 MP-J
Op: Hamburg

Crew
F/O. W E. Elder RNZAF
F/S. R A. Gray RCAF
Sgt. W. Berry inj
Sgt. A. Wood
Sgt. G A. Howie
Sgt. P B. Clarke
Sgt. A. Smith +
F/S. J. Heggarty inj

Took off 2216 hrs Holme-on-Spalding Moor. Very badly shot about by night-fighters whose fire knocked out one of the port engines, killed Sgt. Smith and seriously wounded F/S. Heggarty. On reaching East Anglia, four of the crew bailed out, after which the Halifax was crash-landed at 0427 hrs at Shipdham airfield, Norfolk. Sgt. Smith was taken back to Drighlington in Yorkshire and buried in St. Paul Churchyard, Morley 

(Source: BCL 1943, Bill Chorley)."

Comments on the above forum quote .....
Elder was Pilot, see Chorley page 245 below, who lists his rank as P/O, not F/O as in online forums as quoted above, however the ORB records him as F/S on the 27 July 1943.
Gray was 2nd Pilot;
inj means injured;
+ means Killed in Action;
The name Howie is possibly in error for Sgt G.A. House, as per the ORB Posting In on 3/4/43, or more probably Sgt G.A. Howse as recorded in this crew's Ops which are listed in the 76 Squadron ORB, Forms 541, Details of Work Carried Out.

In the Supplement to the London Gazette 16 July 1943, page 3218, F/Sgt Elder received a DFM ......... (quote) .....

Distinguished Flying Medal.

N.Z.416101 Flight Sergeant Wilfred Eric ELDER,
Royal New Zealand Air Force, No. 76 Squadron.
This airman was the captain and pilot of an
aircraft which was detailed to attack Krefeld one
night in June, 1943. On the outward flight,
1 engine of the bomber became unserviceable but,
despite this, Flight Sergeant Elder continued to
the target and pressed home a determined attack,
afterwards flying the aircraft back to base. This
airman displayed great skill and tenacity throughout,
setting an inspiring example.


In the Supplement to the London Gazette 16 November 1943, page 5025, Pilot Officer Elder received a DFC ......... (quote) .....

Air Ministry, 16th November, 1943.
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve
the following awards: —
Distinguished Flying Cross.

Pilot Officer Wilfred Eric ELDER, D.F.M.
(N.Z. 416101), Royal New Zealand Air Force,
No. 76 Squadron.

This was also mentioned in "Flight, December 30th 1943, page 736, under Service Aviation, Distinguished Flying Cross .....
............. P/O. W. E. ELDER. D.F.M., R.N.Z.A.F. No. 76 Sqn.

No details were published regarding the reason for Elder's DFC, as had been published when he received his DFM (see above). Newspaper reports of the crash landing of Halifax DK188 MP-J (links below) advise that Elder was commissioned on that same day.

Information from Myles (on the Bombercrew.com forum topic as above and quoted as written, from the forum) .....

February 2012 ..... "dk-188 MP J for Johnnie was a right off after a belly landing when badly shot up 28/7/1943 after a raid on Hamburg by a night fighter; it crash landed at RAF Shipdham  My great Uncle was Flight Engineer F/Sgt Walter Berry DFM and was wounded."

Oct 2012 ..... "My mum has several photos of my great uncle during the war and has a copy of the photo mentioned framed in her living room. P/O Bill Elder is at the top of the ladder, F/S Walter Berry to the left as you look at it (blonde hair). So that eliminates no 3 and 4 (left to right) - Mum mentioned to me that Walter used to point at the picture and say "those two are no longer alive" referring to Smith and Heggarty but Mum can't remember which ones he pointed at. The engines were hit and the rear turret disabled by a nightfighter attack (believed to be a Junkers 88) and Heggarty used the i/c to inform the planes crew he had been injured in the attack and his turret was disabled. Just as Heggarty informed them of no tail turret cover a 2nd attack came in from Starboard and the mid upper was killed by a cannon shell to the neck. Walter took over the mid upper position and when the night fighter came in for a third attempt and opened up injuring Walter in the leg - Walter released a burst of fire which warded it off and ordered Elder to corkscrew even though two engines were down. They had no further attacks thereafter. The pilot (Elder) ordered all to bale out when he levelled out due to only having two working engines but Walter stayed put (I vaguely recall him telling me his 'chute had gone from where it was stored and he later found a holed one unsecured in the fuselage!) and sat with the Pilot to assist with the landing, especially as Heggarty was wounded and trapped in the rear turret. The landing, which was a belly landing, was assisted by one wing hitting a tree at the end of the runway. From what I understand, DK188 MP-J was written off thereafter due to structural damage to the main wing frames and broken up for spares. This is all the info my Mum can recall and from what I remember from him telling me. I do have a cassette with a radio interview he did when he was alive, but I believe that was in reference to a later raid when he was shot down and evaded capture. I will listen to it soon to see if he mentions this mission or comments re Heggarty. Kind Regards, Myles"

Link to the Book report on page 81 of To See The Dawn Breaking by W.R.Chorley.

Link to Newspaper report in the Derby Evening Telegraph on 30 July 1943.

Link to Newspaper report in the Nottingham Evening Post on 30 July 1943.

Mentioned in Despatches – see section below for Information from The London Gazette Archives, Issue 36329, page 298 for 1238295 J. Heggarty, R.A.F.V.R. Sgt W. Berry was also M.I.D. in the same Gazette edition, on page 299 (1080826 W. BERRY, R.A.F.V.R.). Presumably both Mentions were for the event of 27 July 1943. Another entry on the same page 299 is for "Can/R.116691 R. A. GRAY".
Is this the 2nd Pilot for that same crew and the same Halifax?

From 76 Sqn ORB's, Form 540 Summary of Events (AIR 27 651 from Public Record Office / The National Archives) .... (quote) ....

POSTINGS OUT (AIRCREW)
Holme-on-Spalding Moor. 7/8/43
Sgt. Salt, Sgt. McCluskey and F/S. Heggarty, all Air Gunners, posted N.E. Sick to R.A.F.
Station, Holme-on-Spalding Moor.

From this, it appears that John had been posted as Non Effective Sick, for 10 to 11 days from 28 July 1943, and was posted back to the Station for flying duties on 7 August 1943. It is assumed that during his N.E. Sick posting, he was hospitalised due to his injuries received in the Op.

Information was received from Mike Harrison, using the 76 Sqn ORB's, Form 541 Summary of Events (AIR 27 651 from Public Record Office / The National Archives). His search of the ORBs revealed that the crew (Pilot Elder, R/AG Heggarty) completed 14 operations.

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John Heggarty – Operations while posted to 76 Squadron. He was posted in on 3 April 1943, and this list only covers the months of April to July inclusive in 1943. During that time, the Crew with Sgt John Heggarty as Rear Gunner, carried out 14 Ops. Information has been transcribed as recorded in that Squadron's Operation Record Books, Forms 541. The Op on 16 April was in a Halifax II. All of the other Ops were in a Halifax V. There are two possible errors in the recorded aircraft codes for serial DK132 (V) and DK188 (J). Red entries are night Ops. Not all ORB pages were received, so some information is incomplete. No ORB pages are held for August or later months, so the total number of Ops by this Crew may be higher.

Date Ser No Code Pilot Duty Remarks Op
16/04/43 DK147 A Sgt Elder R/AG Target Mannheim – up 2120, down 0445. Attacked from 16,000 ft at 0100. 1
20/04/43 DK132 V Sgt Elder R/AG Target Stettin – up 2116, down 0600. Bombed from 15,000 ft at 0111. Aircraft hit by heavy flak just N of target. One of 14 Sqdn aircraft on Op. 2
04/05/43 DK132 V Sgt Elder R/AG Target Dortmund – up 2213, down 0332. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0120. 3
12/05/43 DK132 V Sgt Elder R/AG Target ? – up 2317, down 0517. Target identified by river. (No copy of page listing target.) 4
13/05/43 DK132 V Sgt Elder R/AG Target Bochum – up 2358, down 0541. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0232. 5
25/05/43 DK132 V Sgt Elder R/AG Target Düsseldorf – up 2313, down 0355. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0141. 6
27/05/43 DK188 V (?) Sgt Elder R/AG Target Essen – up 2242, down 0349. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0102. 7
11/06/43 DK188 V (?) F/S Elder R/AG Target Düsseldorf – up 2224, down 0355. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0134. 8
19/06/43 DK188 J F/S Elder R/AG Target Le Cruesot – up 2212, down 0524. Attacked from 7,500 ft at 0203. Target identified visually by lake and east-west straight road. 9
21/06/43 DK188 J F/S Elder R/AG Target Krefeld – up 0010, down 0356. Attacked from 15,000 ft at 0215. Crew of 8. 10
28/06/43 DK195 O F/S Elder R/AG Target Cologne – up 2311, down 0351. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0149.
S/L Wigfall was also on this Op (? as co-pilot), making a crew of 8.
11
09/07/43 DK188 J F/S Elder R/AG Target Gelsenkirchen – up 2251, down 0445. Attacked from 20,000 ft at 0118.
Crew of 8.
12
24/07/43 DK188 J F/S Elder R/AG

Target Hamburg – up 2211, down 0403. Attacked from 18,000 ft at 0112. Crew of 8.

13
27/07/43 DK188 J F/S Elder R/AG

Target Hamburg – up 2216, down 0427. Crew of 8, co-pilot F/S Gray. Aircraft attacked by fighters during return flight, M/UG Smith killed, R/AG Heggarty and F/Eng Berry wounded, aircraft crash landed at Shipdham (see summary below).

14
ORB Summary for 27/07/43: Twenty four aircraft were detailed for this attack on HAMBURG and all took off successfully. No difficulty was encountered on the way to the target, but over the target itself search lights and enemy fighters were very active. On arrival at the target, it was observed that the fires from the previous attack on the 25th were still burning, and that fresh ones were also burning furiously. The Pathfinders had been very accurate with their flares, and bombs were dropped all around the markers. Many explosions were witnessed and by the time our aircraft left the target area, the new fires were casting smoke up to a height of 18 – 20,000ft. On the return trips, aircraft "J" (F/S Elder, Captain) was attacked by several fighters and as one of his engines was unserviceable, great difficulty was experienced in evading the enemy. The Halifax received several bursts of fire, and the Mid Upper Gunner was killed as the result of this. Many instruments in the Halifax were by this time unserviceable and it was impossible for the Pilot to be warned by Monica of any approaching enemy. Once again they were attacked and both the Rear Gunner and the Engineer (who had taken the Mid Upper's place) although suffering gunshot wounds attempted to retaliate. Eventually the fighters were shaken off and the Halifax made for the nearest point on the English Coast. A successful crash landing was carried out at Shipdham, with no further casualties. All our aircraft returned to England.

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John Heggarty – Information from Rear Gunner F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd’s personal papers.
Heggarty was of Irish descent from Cheshire, was well educated, fluent in the German language, and was the 8th member of the Crew. He was the Special Duties Officer and did not socialise with other airmen due to the secretive nature of his Special Duties. He operated the Special Electronic Equipment installed in the aircraft. There is no photo of him with the crew. A list of fellow Crew names and their next-of-kin from M.J.Hibberd’s personal papers had the following – "P/O Heggarty, Aunt. Mrs Louisa May Ledger, 19 Castle Road, Wallasey, Cheshire."
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John Heggarty – Information from National Archives of Australia "Loss of Aircraft Halifax III "V" NA240 10/11 April 1945" Series A11385, Digital Copy of item 3552009 (Page 50 of 52 pages).

462 Squadron – Air Crew Arrival Form (Filled out by Aircrew in his own handwritten block letters – transcription of original).
Date 15.02.45 on posting from 27 O.T.U.
On the Authority of 91G/492/45    12/2
1. Number 179888       2. Surname HEGGARTY
2. Christian Names JOHN
3. Substantive Rank P/O          Date 27.07.44
4. Acting Rank            (blank)                       Date (blank)
5. Decorations M.I.D.              Date 21.07.43
6. Type of Service D.P.E.
7. Aircrew Category (in full) AIR GUNNER
8. Types of Aircraft Flown WELLINGTON, HALIFAX II
9. Courses Attended GROUP REFRESHER, A.G.I. MANBY
10. Date of Birth 13.08.22
11. If Married – NO                    Date – (blank)
12. Next of Kin             a) Relationship AUNT
b) Full Name LOUISA MAY LEDGER (MRS)
c) Address 19 CASTLE ROAD
WALLASEY, CHESHIRE
13. Additional Person to be Informed     a) Relationship   / (blank)
b) Full Name    / (blank)
c) Address   / (blank)
15. Religion RC
16 Medical Category   (blank)

John had inadvertently transposed the dates for his Rank and Decorations in the form above. His appointment to Substantive Rank PO was actually on 21 July 1944 (not 27 July 1944 as written) and his M.I.D. was 27 July 1943 (not 21 July 1943).

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John Heggarty – Information from The London Gazette Archives – Three search results for ‘Heggarty’ – 1. Mentioned in Despatches; 2. Appointment to Commission as Pilot Officer; 3. Promotion to Flying Officer.

1. Gazette Edition, Issue 36329
Page 283 “Third Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday the 11th of January 1944 (Issue 36329)” ……
Page 286………
Air Ministry, 14th January, 1944.
The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the publication of the names of the following personnel who have been mentioned in despatches by Air Officers Commanding-in-Chief:-
…………………………..
Page 297 ……..Flight Sergeants
Page 298 ……..1238295 J. Heggarty, R.A.F.V.R.

2. Gazette Edition, Issue 36705
Page 4311 “Second Supplement to The London Gazette of Friday the 15th of September 1944 (Issue 36705)” Tuesday 19 September 1944
Air Ministry, 12th September, 1944
Page 4312……………….
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
General Duties Branch.
Appointment to Commission.
As Plt. Offs. on prob (emergency):-
Wt. Offs.
……………….
21st July 1944.
1238295 John Heggarty (179888).

3. Gazette Edition, Issue 36953
Page 1061 “Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday the 20th of February 1945 (Issue 36953)”
Friday 23 February 1945
Air Ministry 23rd February 1945
Page 1062……………….
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
General Duties Branch.
Confirmation and promotion.
Plt. Offs. (prob) confmd. in appts. and to be Flg. Offs (war subs):-
………
Page 1063……
21st Jan. 1945……..
J. Heggarty (179888).
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John Heggarty – Service Information
From website http:/www.ab-ix.co.uk/tfr_raf.pdf
According to this site, John Heggarty’s initial Service Number 1238925 was issued in the series 1150001 to 1250000 during April 1940 at Cardington, UK. NCOs who were commissioned received new service numbers – John Heggarty’s new number after commissioning to Pilot Officer in July 1944 was 179888.

Summary of Service information known to date.

April 1940 – Joins Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at Cardington, with allocated Service Number 1238925.
April 1940 to April 1943 – Training, promotions, postings are not known. His substantive position was Air Gunner prior to (later) training in Special Duties Operations equipment. Photo of Leading Aircraftman John Heggarty at unknown location in 1941, added to site for 6 November 2013.
3 April 1943 – Posted in to 76 Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse from No. 1658 Conversion Unit, Riccall, as Sgt. Heggarty with crew position Air Gunner (Pilot, W. E. Elder, 416101, Royal New Zealand Air Force). Crew relocated with 76 Squadron to Holme-on-Spalding Moor. Photo dated 27 July 1943, of John with Pilot Elder and crew added to site for 6 March 2013.
14 January 1944 – Mentioned in Despatches, at the rank of Flight Sergeant, Service Number 1238295, recorded in The London Gazette 14 January 1944. The Award of M.I.D. most likely relate to actions with 76 Squadron, Halifax V DK188 MP-J, Op. Hamburg, on 27 July 1943.
January 1943 to July 1944 – Promotion from Flight Sergeant to Warrant Officer (time and place is not known).
21 July 1944 – Promotion from Warrant Officer to Pilot Officer (probation) emergency, RAFVR General Duties Branch, recorded in the London Gazette 19 Sept 1944.
1 January 1945 – Confirmation of Pilot Officer and promotion to Flying Officer (war subs), recorded in the London Gazette 23 February 1945.
15 February 1945 – Arrival at 462 Squadron, Foulsham direct from 27 O.T.U. Lichfield. He recorded his Rank as Pilot Officer on his Air Crew Arrival Form, so it seems he was not aware of his promotion to Flying Officer effective as of 21 January 1945.
10 April 1945 – Operational flight as Special Duties Operator in Halifax NA240 to Leipzig. K.I.A.
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John Heggarty – Information from 462 Squadron Unit History and Rear Gunner’s Logbook.

Operational Flights while at 462 Squadron – refer National Archives of Australia Series A9186 Unit History of 462 Squadron Oct 1942 to Sept 1945.
A careful check of the Squadron Unit History for February, March and April 1945 has revealed that during his posting to 462 Squadron, from his arrival on 15/02/45 to his death on 10/04/45, F/O John Heggarty only flew on 2 operational flights as listed below – the 24th March and the 10th April. Any training flights were not listed separately, and he is not mentioned other than those instances recorded below. Some people have said to me that SDO’s were not regular members of the same crew and should not therefore be included as members of that crew. However in John Heggarty’s case, he only flew 2 operational flights and both were with Pilot A.D.J.Ball and Crew. He flew with them, he died with them, and was buried with them – therefore I consider him to have been a member of this crew. The following log book entries and squadron ORBs are exact transcriptions of the originals. My comments are in italics.

Operational Flight 1 – 24/03/45

24/03/45 Rear Gunner’s Log Book – “Ops No 4 Köln (= Cologne) Halifax Z5-S, Special Duties with Special Operator. Spoof. No Flak. Fighter FW190 Attacked and Followed. Fired 800 Rounds and Claimed Hits. Evasive Action carried out. Flight time 5 hours and 10 minutes”.

24/03/45 Sqdn ORB Form 540 – “No. 100 Group was the only Group operating on that night, and five of the crews were provided from this Squadron, TWO of these were new crews on their first operational flight, a short trip to the RUHR area providing a valuable experience for new crews. All completed a successful sortie. MZ.308 “S”/462 – (Captain P/O Ball, A.D.) when in the OPLADEN area was attacked by an Enemy fighter aircraft, which was identified by the rear-gunner as a FW.190. The enemy fighter closed in to 400 yards to attack, and the rear-gunner opened fire, hits were observed in the neighbourhood of the engine, and the FW.190 is claimed as damaged.”

24/03/45 Sqdn ORB Form 541 – “Halifax MZ308; up at 1847, down at 2357; SDO F/Sgt R.G.Irminger RAAF 437308, and SDO F/O J.Heggarty RAF (VR) 179888. Special Duty Flight to the Ruhr area on a Spoof raid. Window was released in that area. A total of 5 Crews from 462 Squadron were similarly tasked.” (F/Sgt Irminger would have dispensed “Window” and F/O Heggarty would have operated the “Special Equipment”.)

Operational Flight 2 – 10/04/45

10/04/45 Rear Gunner’s Log Book – “Ops No 5 Special Duties Operation Leipzig. Baled Out.”

10/04/45 Sqdn ORB Form 540 – “TEN aircraft were required for operations, THREE for RADAR COUNTER MEASURES, and the remainder for a Feint WINDOW attack. The WINDOW Force proceeded ahead of, and on the same track as the Main Force, branching off just before reaching LEIPZIG which was the Target for the Main Force. The object of this manoeuvre was to make the Enemy believe that BERLIN was the main Target, and raise the Enemy Fighters NORTH of BERLIN where they could be engage by our own Fighters, and to take the Enemy Fighters away from LEIPZIG while it was being attacked by the Main Force. TWO aircraft – NA.240 and PN.426 operated with No. 5 Group in the Main BOMBER Stream on RADAR COUNTER MEASURES. Unfortunately Aircraft NA.240 “V”/462 Captain – P/O A.D.Ball failed to return from this operation. Today’s report was received from the A.O.C. describing last night’s operation as one of the most successful that No. 100 Group had participated in.” (Form 541 clearly lists Plauem (sic) as the location for the Spoof raid by 462 Squadron aircraft, not Berlin. Assuming Plauem is actually meant to be Plauen, the above description of raising enemy fighters in Berlin does not appear to be correct. Plauen is about 100km SSW of Leipzig, whereas Berlin is about 150km north of Leipzig. I am aware that a Mosquito squadron attacked Berlin but on a different flight plan from the Main Force to Leipzig and Spoof force to Plauen.)

10/04/45 Sqdn ORB Form 541 – “Halifax NA240: up at 1910, missing; SDO F/O J.Heggarty RAF (VR) 179888. This aircraft took off on a Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Leipzig and failed to return from that Operation. There has been no news since taking off, and the crew has been reported Missing.”
Seven Aircraft were similarly tasked with a Special Duty flight to the PLAUEM (sic) area on a SPOOF raid. Window was released, BOMBS and INCENDIARIES dropped in that area. Loading: – 2 x 500lb G.P. Bombs, 1 x No.14 500lb Incdy Clusters, 2 x No.15 750lb Incdy Clusters. (These seven aircraft and their crew members were all individually identified, each aircraft with the same bomb loading.)
One Aircraft was tasked as a Protective Patrol to the PLAUEM (sic) area with the WINDOW Force. BOMBS were dropped in that area. Loading: – 2 x 500lb G.P. Bombs. (This aircraft and its crew members were individually identified.)
TWO aircraft were tasked as a Protective Patrol with the Main Force to Leipzig. Bombs were dropped in the Target area by one aircraft. Loading: – 2 x 500lb G.P. Bombs. (These two aircraft and their crew members were all individually identified, each aircraft with the same bomb loading. Assume Plauem should be Plauen.)

10/11 April 1945 Bomber Command War Diaries (by Middlebrook and Everitt).
“PLAUEN – 307 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitoes of 1 and 8 Groups. No aircraft lost. The bombing fell around the railway yards in the northern half of the town. The railways were hit and 365 acres, 51 per cent, of the town’s built-up area were also destroyed.”
“LEIPZIG – 76 Lancasters and 19 Mosquitoes 5 and 8 Groups attacked the Wahren railway yards. The eastern half of the yards was destroyed. 7 Lancasters lost. Minor operations: 77 Mosquitoes to Berlin, 21 to Chemnitz and 7 to Bayreuth, 53 R.C.M. sorties, 26 Mosquito patrols. I Mosquito from the Berlin raid and 1 RCM Halifax was lost. (i.e. Halifax III NA240 Z5-V, of Pilot A.D.J.Ball and Crew).
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John Heggarty – 10/04/45 Special Equipment – Refer National Archives of Australia "Loss of Aircraft Halifax III "V" NA240 10/11 April 1945", Series A11385, Digital Copy of item 3552009.
“The Halifax had been fitted with ‘H2S’, ‘ABC’, ‘Piperack’, ‘Carpet’, ‘GEE’, and ‘Fishpond’ Radar Counter Measures devices, as well as the usual IFF.” (Heggarty would no doubt have had a demanding job operating all of this equipment.)
It was recorded in Rear Gunner S/Sgt M.J.Hibberd’s ex-PoW interviews that he considered some of the crew may not have been able to exit the aircraft (or would find it difficult) because of the quantity of special equipment present. One would expect that this comment would relate in particular to S.D.O. F/O John Heggarty.
More information about this equipment will be added at a later date.

Other 462 Squadron Special Duties Operators.
Special Duties Officers compared with ‘Spare Bod’ – email from Arthur Newstead 02/06/10 – (quote) ...

“I notice that you refer to the 8th crew member as Special Duties Operator, which is possibly the official designation but we differentiated between the SDO and the "spare bod". In my experience the SDO was a German speaker, often RCAF who flew on RCM/ABC ops to countermand the German Fighter Controller's orders, later he simply jammed the frequency. Spare bods were members of another crew – or sometimes unassigned crew men who threw out masses of "Window" to confuse the enemy radar on "spoof operations."” ....... (end of quote).

McGindle’s book ‘Pimpernel Squadron’ page 146 has a list of 462 Squadron Special Duties Operators, this being sourced from the book ‘100 Group and the Australian Contribution’ by Ross Pearson (via S/Ldr Ernie Stanton, MBE). The list includes 23 names but John Heggarty is not included.
Another book (by Lax and Kane-Maguire page 309) includes a list of twelve 462 Squadron Special Duties Operators. However there is no reference to the sources of this list, which has completely different names from the McGindle/Pearson list.
Perhaps one list is of ‘Spare Bods’ who dispensed “Window’ on Spoof Raids, and the other list is of S.D.O.s who operated the secret equipment. However until I can confirm this, and find out which is which, or why they differ, neither list will be included here.
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John Heggarty – Information from "Loss of Aircraft Halifax III "V" NA240 10/11 April 1945" National Archives of Australia, Series A11385, Digital Copy of item 3552009. (The quality of the digital copy precludes reproduction of these telegrams and letters.)

11 April 1945, 12:00 – Telegram to Mrs Louisa May Ledger of 19 Castle Road, Wallasey, Cheshire, from Commanding Officer of 462 Squadron, advising that her nephew John Heggarty was ‘Missing from Operations’ on night of 10 April 1945.
12 April 1945 – Letter to Mrs Louisa May Ledger of 19 Castle Road, Wallasey, Cheshire from Squadron Leader L.G.Scharer, confirming the telegram and providing more information.

Information obtained from the Australian Archives Casualty Files of the five deceased RAAF members of the crew. This information is taken from archived copies of letters and documents (all with identical or close dates, and with similar wording) sent to the next-of-kin of these 5 airman. I have assumed that the same range of letters and documents would also have been sent to the next-of-kin of the two RAF crew (i.e. Brookes and Heggarty) within the same timelines.

16 to 19 October 1945 – Advice to next-of-kin regarding information about the crash, taken from 4 ex-PoW expert investigative interviews of the only survivor of the crew (F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd).
20 Nov to 12 Dec 1945 – Official advice to next-of-kin of presumption of death of their airman with effect from 10/04/45.

9 May to 7 August 1946 – Advice to next-of-kin of despatch to them of their airman's personal effects.

30 September 1947 – Exhumation of the remains of the 7 members of the crew buried in the Zaasch village cemetery. Quote from Investigation Report – “The day after the crash the seven bodies were buried in a communal grave in the North west corner of the Cemetery. They were buried without coffins and without rites. The grave was found to be in good condition and was marked with a plain cross bearing no inscription.” (Please see photos at Grave at Zaasch.)
2 October 1947 – Reburial of remains in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
14 October 1947 – Investigation report advising of the identification of the airmen, and allocation of their grave registration at the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

8 April to 30 May 1948 – Advice to next-of-kin regarding grave registration in Berlin.
5 to 12 August 1948 – Letter to next-of-kin with copy of Investigation Report (dated 14/10/47), and confirmation of final graves registration, with Plot IV, Row Z, Grave 12 for F/O John Heggarty 179888 RAFVR.

2 September to 25 October 1949 – Letter to next-of-kin with photo of temporary Cross on Grave 4.Z.12 at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
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John Heggarty – Information from Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Flying Officer John Heggarty, RAFVR, Grave 4.Z.12 Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, death 10 April 1945.
Up until April 2008, Heggarty had been incorrectly recorded on the CWGC website as being from 424 Sqdn RCAF. This was corrected to 462 Squadron RAAF, after detailed documents were supplied to the CWGC, and examined by their Investigators.

27/03/07 Initial contact with CWGC advising of incorrect records;
27/06/07 CWGC requested information to support the request for amendment of records;
28/06/07 Verifying documentation supplied to CWGC;
29/02/08 CWGC advised that investigation was in progress;
04/03/08 CWGC advised that documentation had been forwarded to the CWGC Offices in Australia for deliberation and final decision;
22/04/08 CWGC advised that authorisation to amend the records to 462 Squadron RAAF had been received.

John Heggarty’s Headstone at Grave 4.Z.12 Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, reads (Please see photos at Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.)

(RAF logo)
FLYING OFFICER
J. HEGGARTY
AIR GUNNER
ROYAL AIR FORCE
10 APRIL 1945

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John Heggarty – Some questions regarding his RAFVR service. If you can assist with answers, please make contact.
Where was he posted for his initial training and any subsequent Tour of Duty between his enlistment in April 1940, and his posting to 462 Squadron at Foulsham in February 1945? Part answer: posted to 76 Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse, then Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire between April and August 1943.
What type of Service is “D.P.E.”?
When and where did he train as an Air Gunner?
When and where did he fly in the Wellington and Halifax II aircraft as listed on his 462 Squadron Air Crew Arrival Form?
What actions had he carried out as Flight Sergeant to be “Mentioned in Despatches”, and where had this occurred? Answer: most likely for actions during a night Op 27 July 1943 while posted to 76 Squadron RAF, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire (details listed previously).
What was involved in the course attended “Group Refresher, A.G.I. Manby”? (Manby = RAF Manby, south of Louth in Lincolnshire?)
What does the abbreviation A.G.I. mean? Is this Air Gunner (or Gunnery) Instructor?
Where did he train to operate the Special Equipment? It was not part of a Gunner's normal training, when compared with the training of fellow crew Air Gunners F/Sgt J.M.Tait and F/Sgt M.J.Hibberd.
As John Heggarty was posted to 462 Squadron at Foulsham direct from 27 O.T.U., had he previously completed one tour, followed by time at 27 O.T.U. as a Training Instructor? However he is not listed in 27 O.T.U. files as an Instructor, so why was he there?
When and where did he become fluent in German? It was not taught at St. Anselm's College where he attended secondary school.
Who is John Heggarty's closest living next-of-kin? This may be his female cousin and second cousin (through his Father's side) who made contact in April 2011, or a male cousin (through his Mother's side) who made contact in November 2011. His sister Annie is deceased (26 February 2005) and her son made initial contact in September 2013.
I need to locate John Heggarty’s closest living next-of-kin to obtain their written permission to request John's Service File from the RAF. This permission has been received from John's two living cousins.
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John Heggarty – Genealogy. The following information is included to assist with locating John HEGGARTY’s closest living next-of-kin. If you think you are related, or know someone who may be, please make contact.

Genealogists please note that I have only sighted a copy of the Birth Certificate for F/O John HEGGARTY, and the marriage certificate for John HAGGERTY and Margaret BRETT (his paternal grandparents). The following genealogy information is taken from internet searches, transcripts of entries, and scans of original registration pages. Census transcripts and scans of original census pages for 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 have been viewed. For the 1911 Census, Summary Books search results have been viewed, as well as the original 1911 census pages. I do not have a Genealogy computer program so this information is not in ‘correct’ genealogical format. Information received during 2011 from John HEGGARTY's cousins, on both his maternal and paternal lines, have allowed corrections to previously listed genealogy.
Variations in the spelling of the surname occur (Heggarty, Heggerty, Haggarty, Haggerty, and Hagerty). However this is not unusual in genealogical records.
BMD records are listed first, followed by Census records.

In April 2008 I attempted to trace friends or family of John HEGGARTY by writing letters to the Editors of 2 newspapers, “The Wirral Globe” of Birkenhead, Cheshire, and “Birkenhead News” Liverpool. I also contacted The Wirral Group of the Family History Society through the Bebington Central Reference Library.
I am indebted to Graham Mitchell and his mate Fred (Rock Ferry Local History and Research Group), who in July 2008 as a consequence of the newspaper requests, provided information, birth certificate, census documents, and suggestions on how and where to obtain more genealogical information on John HEGGARTY and his family. Information was sourced from Ancestry, Findmypast, FreeBMD, Cheshirebmd, 1911 Census, Gores/Kelly’s Directories, and old telephone books.

In April 2011, contact was made by John's female 2nd-cousin Viv, who is related through the HEGGARTY line – John's father and Viv's grandmother Margaret were brother and sister. Viv kindly supplied the WWI photo of John's father John/Jack, and the WWII photo of John's sister Ann and her husband Isaac WILKINSON (both photos included above), as well as additional HEGGARTY family information. John's school was also identified as St. Anselm's College in Birkenhead.

In June 2011, contact was established with the Anselmian Association ("Old Boys" of St Anselm's College). Anselmian Association Chairman Paul Radcliffe advised that John HEGGARTY's name is included in the "Board of Remembrance" at the College, a memorial for "Old Boys" who served and lost their lives during WW2. A photo of the Honour Board has been included in a previous section. Kevin Ford, a former classmate of John's, advised via William Iveson that John was also fluent in French at school. John obviously had an interest in languages as his fluency in German was essential for his flying duties at 462 Squadron. Further information was received during personal visits to the school and a meeting with Bill Iveson and Kevin Ford in July 2013.

In November 2011, contact was made by John HEGGARTY's male cousin, Jeffrey MEYVAERT who is related through the LEDGER line – John's mother and Jeffrey's mother were sisters. Information supplied by Jeffrey has enabled correction of the LEDGER genealogy – included in the relevant section below are additional children of Joseph and Margaret LEDGER, and correction of marriages, deaths, and inclusion of later generations.

In July 2012, with the assistance of Tony Foster, a personal visit was made to Longridge in Lancashire, in an attempt to locate the family of John Heggarty's sister Annie. Tony had kindly arranged a meeting at the Longridge Heritage Centre with George Wightman, who was a cousin of Isaac Wilkinson, Annie's husband (Isaac's & George's mothers were sisters). George provided information about Annie & Isaac's life in Longridge, and some Wilkinson family genealogy details and photos, so that previously unconfirmed information could be checked at the Longridge library/archives. It was confirmed that Annie and Isaac had a son whose location was not known by George.

It was hoped that this extra information would eventually result in the location of a photograph of John HEGGARTY.

Photos of John were added for the 6 March 2013 update. The sequence of events in locating the photos is summarised as follows:
Emails & phone conversations with his cousins were informative, but there were no photos of him in the family archives.
Contact was established by email with St Anselm's, with a later visit to the College in July 2012, when photos were taken of the large framed College Pupils of 1935, 1937 and May 1940. The possibility was that John would be in one of them. A meeting and discussions with Anselmians Bill Iveson and Kevin Ford indicated that John could only have been in the 1937 photo (but which student?).
A copy of the last page only (undated) of a letter written by Aunt Louisa May Ledger to nephew Jeffrey Meyvaert at Fort Augustus Abbey in Scotland, was received from John's cousins Viv and Jeffrey. The time line of about April/May of 1943 was deduced, as Auntie May makes reference to the recent Anniversary of the death of Jeffrey's mother Jessie (death 17 April 1938) and also refers to the upcoming 6th Anniversary of the death of Uncle Joe Ledger (death 28 July 1937). She also mentions that she and 'Jack' had met up with another cousin Joan at St Peter & Paul's, New Brighton "last Sunday week" so John/Jack had obviously been home on leave. The contact details for John were included as a postscript – "Jack's Address, Sgt Heggarty, J, 1238295 Sgts Mess, Linton-on-Ouse, York".
John's cousin Viv then located details on an internet forum of a F/Sgt J. Heggarty at 76 Squadron, Holme-on-Spalding Moor, and his involvement in a crash on 27 July 1943. This was investigated further and after a flurry of emails, copies of the photo of the crew of Halifax DK188 MP-J, and relevant pages of the Squadron ORBs were received. However that J.Heggarty was not identified in the crew photo, nor was any Service Number recorded in the ORBs. It was therefore not known if the 76 Sqdn Heggarty and the 462 Squadron Heggarty was one and the same person – probable but not definite.
The final link was when St Anselm's College located the framed Rugby photo, in which the players were all identified, including a youthful John Heggarty.
His face was quickly matched with one of the crew in the 76 Squadron photo, as well as with one pupil in the 1937 College photo.
76 Squadron ORBs confirmed that John was posted into the Squadron on 3 April 1943, when it was based at Linton-on-Ouse.
A second search of the London Gazette revealed that only one Heggarty RAF had ever been "Mentioned in Despatches", and it was on the same date as Sgt W. Berry of the same crew. This suggests the M.I.D. was in relation to the events of 27 July 1943 (76 Sqdn, Halifax DK-188 MP-J).
W.R. (Bill) Chorley gave permission to use the photo and information from his book.

In September 2013, John Heggarty's nephew made initial contact. He has since contributed photos and additional information about his parents (John's older sister Annie and her husband Isaac Wilkinson), as well as a photo of Leading Aircraftman John Heggarty in 1941. These were added to this web page for the November 2013 update.

My thanks are extended to all who contributed to the location of information and photos.

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Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Birth [F/O] John HEGGARTY, 1922, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Volume 8a, Page 997. Registration District Birkenhead, Sub-district Wallasey, County of Wallasey C.B.
Birth Certificate CN 553686 No 454, 13 August 1922 at Highfield Maternity Home UD; John, boy; Father John HEGGARTY; Mother Ellen HEGGARTY (deceased) formerly LEDGER; Occupation of father – Tramcar Driver of 2 Pear Tree Grove UD; informant – John HEGGARTY, father of 2 Pear Tree Grove; registered on 29 August 1922; Registrar C.H.Ogden. This proves that John was not born in Ireland (but was of Irish descent, from his great-grandparents, see later). Pear Tree Grove in Wallasey no longer exists. From John HEGGARTY’s birth certificate is confirmation that his father’s name was also John, and that the maiden name of his mother was formerly Ellen LEDGER.

England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administration, 1858-1966), 1946 page 300 ... (quote) ...
HEGGARTY John of 19 Castle-road Wallasey Cheshire died 10 April 1945 on war service, Administration Lancaster 24 July to Anne Wilkinson (wife of Isaac Wilkinson). Effects £226 11s. 11d. (Anne was John's sister, details below. His Arrival Form at 462 Squadron listed his Aunt, Mrs Louisa May Ledger as his Next-of-Kin, not his sister.)

Parents of F/O John HEGGARTY – his Father, John.

Birth John HEGGERTY, 1889, 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 462. WW1 Service Records name him as John William with possible birth year of 1890, and his death record names him as John W, with possible birth year also about 1890.
Marriage John HEGGARTY
to LEDGER, 1913, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1053.
This marriage is included in John HEGGARTY’s WWI Service Record, see below. This marriage then links with, and follows on with birth of F/O John HEGGARTY in 1922 having mother Ellen, née LEDGER. Ellen would have been aged about 30 at this marriage, based on her age of 18 in the 1901 census, and birth year of 1882 (see 1901 census data below). John was aged about 24 years. According to family information received in April 2011, John was known as Jack, and Ellen was known as Nellie.
WWI Service Record for John/Jack William HEGGARTY, initial Service Number 25466, later replaced by 49406 after transfer. In his Service record the name is written variously as Hagerty, Haggerty, Haggarty and HEGGARTY. He enlisted at Chester on 8 March 1915 at age 25 (= birth year of about 1890), previous employment Dock Labourer, height 5 ft 8¼ inches (later recorded as 5’ 10½”), chest 36 with 3” expansion, and a distinctive mark of a tattoo of crossed hands on his right wrist. His next-of-kin was his wife Ellen HEGGARTY (née LEDGER) living at 57 Oxton Road, Poulton, Seacombe, Cheshire. This address was later amended to 87 Birkenhead Road, Seacombe, with his pay sent to wife Ellen at that address, the home of the LEDGER family. They married at Our Lady and St. Joseph, Seacombe on 20 October 1913. One child was recorded, Annie born on 20 February 1915 at Birkenhead. John/Jack was posted as a Private to the Cheshire Regiment with Service number 25466, and embarked with the 2nd Expeditionary Force on 26 May 1915 to Rouen France. He served at Salonica, embarking from Marseilles France on 21 November 1915. On 18 May 1916, while stationed at Salonica, he was transferred to the 84th Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) of the 2nd Bn., Cheshire Regiment, with his Service Number changed to 49406. During his service at Salonica he was hospitalised several times between July 1916 and July 1917 with Malaria. He embarked from Salonica for the UK on 28 February 1919, and was struck off strength on 7 March 1919. It appears that at demobilisation, he forwarded documents recording a disability. He was awarded three medals – 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, and Victory Medal. Interestingly, his year of birth was recorded on one document as being 1886, which differs from his enlistment age of 25 in 1915, and birth record of 1889.
Death John W. HEGGARTY, 1932, age 42, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Cheshire, Vol 6a, Page 656. This gives a birth year of about 1890, which matches age at census in 1901. At the time of his death, he was living at 2 Pear Tree Grove, Wallasey. John William HEGGARTY was buried on May 31st 1932, in Grave 6R/104 in the Roman Catholic Section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey. He was buried in the same grave as his wife who had predeceased him in 1922. There was no headstone for this grave, however a Memorial plaque was added in October 2012 (photos shown previously).
Probate John HEGGARTY of 2 Pear Tree-grove, Wallasey, Cheshire, died 27 May 1932, Administration (limited) at Registry Liverpool on 28 June 1932, to Joseph LEDGER salesman and Margaret Ann KEOGH (wife of Denis KEOGH). Effects £199 17s. 7d.
This Probate record matches the death record of the same year. (Ancestry.com – England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations),1861-1941.)
The address listed is the same as that at F/O John HEGGARTY’s birth in 1922. Joseph LEDGER was John W. HEGGARTY’s brother-in-law (i.e. his deceased wife Ellen’s younger brother), and Margaret Ann KEOGH (née LEDGER) was his sister-in-law (i.e. his deceased wife Ellen’s younger sister.)
As he was only 42 at death, is it possible that his WW1 service and several bouts of malaria contributed to his death?

Parents of F/O John HEGGARTY – his mother, Ellen.

Birth Ellen LEDGER, 1882, registered 2nd qtr, District Liverpool, County Lancashire, Vol 8b, Page 76 (matches with birth location and age on 1891 and 1901 census records – see below.)
Marriage Ellen LEDGER to HEGGARTY, 1913, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1053 (details given above).
Death Ellen HEGGARTY, 1922, age 40, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 530. This gives an approximate birth year of 1882 for Ellen, and matches the birth record above. Her son John was born on 13 August 1922, and his birth was registered on 29 August 1922, when Ellen was listed as being deceased, having died sometime in the 16 days after John’s birth. At the time of John's birth and Ellen's death, the HEGGARTY's were living at 2 Pear Tree Grove, Wallasey. She was buried on September 2nd 1922, in Grave 6R/104 in the Roman Catholic Section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey. (Photo shown in previous section).

Other children of John HEGGARTY and Ellen (née LEDGER).

Birth Annie HEGGARTY 1915, mother née LEDGER, registered 1st qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1094. This is F/O John HEGGARTY’s older sister. Annie’s birth on 20 February 1915 at Birkenhead is included in her father John/Jack HEGGARTY’s WWI Service Record (see above), and the date was also confirmed by her son. At the time of Annie’s birth, her mother Ellen/Nellie was aged about 32, and her father John/Jack, about 25. Annie HEGGARTY survived her childhood and later married.
Marriage Ann HEGGARTY to Isaac WILKINSON, 1938, registered 3rd qtr, District Amounderness, Lancs., Vol 8e, Page 1589. According to family information received in April 2011, Annie was known as Nan, and her husband Isaac as Ike. At the time of her marriage, Annie/Ann/Nan was aged 23. (A photo of Nan & Ike Wilkinson in September 1940 is shown above.)
Administration of Probate 1946, England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administration, 1858-1966), 1946 page 300, (quote) ... HEGGARTY John of 19 Castle-road Wallasey Cheshire died 10 April 1945 on war service Administration Lancaster 24 July to Anne Wilkinson (wife of Isaac Wilkinson). Effects £226 11s. 11d. (This suggests that Anne and John remained in contact after their father's death in 1932 when John was fostered, and this is supported by the 1941 photo of John in the Wilkinson family photo collection. However, Annie was not listed as Next-of-Kin on John's Arrival Form at 462 Squadron.)
Death Annie Wilkinson (née Heggarty), registered March 2005, Reg. No D65C, Entry 81, District and Sub-district 588/1D, Preston and South Ribble, birth date 20 Feb 1915. The date of death as advised by her son was 26 February 2005 (aged 90).

Annie's Husband, Isaac WILKINSON birth 1915, mother née Nuttall, Registered 3rd qtr, District Preston, lancashire, Vol 8e, Page 926 (Actual birth date 8 Aug 1915 as advised by his son.)
Marriage Isaac Wilkinson to Annie Heggarty 1938, registered 3rd qtr, District Amounderness, Lancs., Vol 8e, Page 1589 (September 1938 as advised by son Michael). Isaac was aged 23.
Death Isaac WILKINSON 1987, Registered 2nd qtr, District Blackburn Lancashire, (actual date of death 25 April 1987, aged 71 years, 8½ months, as advised by his son).
Isaac WILKINSON, Army Service Number 3325533, served in the Highland Light Infantry (photos shown previously). Two of his service medals, The Africa Star and The Italy Star, indicate that he served in North Africa and/or the Middle East, and also in Italy, with the 2nd Battalion, HLI. He served from at least September 1940 until demobilisation, sometime in 1945.

Children of Ike WILKINSON and Nan (née HEGGARTY).
1. Birth: Margaret J. WILKINSON, mother HEGGARTY, registered 3rd qtr, 1939, District Preston, Lancs., Vol 8e, Page 687.
Death: Margaret J. WILKINSON, birth abet 1939, registered 4th qtr, 1939, age at death 0, District Preston, Lancs., Vol 8e, Page 1061.

2. Birth: Michael A. WILKINSON, mother HEGGARTY, registered 3rd qtr, 1946, District Amounderness, Cumberland, Northumberland/Westmorland, Vol 10b, Page 16. Michael made initial contact in September 2013, and kindly provided photos and family information.

Aunt Louisa May LEDGER fostered her nephew John HEGGARTY at the age of 10, after the deaths of both his parents (Ellen in 1922, and John/Jack in 1932). John kept his HEGGARTY family name so it seems he was not formally adopted. Information received from the Family indicated that his aunt was ‘wealthy’ and that he was educated at St. Anselms College in Birkenhead which was very respected at that time.
Aunt Louisa May LEDGER did not foster John’s older sister Annie. However by 1932, Annie/Ann/Nan was aged 17, and according to information received, was already working, and therefore able to support herself.
Louisa May was listed as F/O John HEGGARTY’s next-of-kin on his 462 Squadron Air Crew Arrival Form, as her husband (i.e. John’s Uncle) Henry P. LEDGER was already deceased (1917). Perhaps if his Uncle had been alive, he would have been listed as next-of-kin rather than his Aunt Louisa May who was actually only an aunt by marriage.

F/O John HEGGARTY’s paternal grandparents.

Grandfather John HAGGARTY. The following birth record may be that of F/O John HEGGARTY’s grandfather. This birth record has a different spelling from the correct marriage record (HAGGERTY) and possible death record (HEGGERTY), but this is not unusual in genealogical records.
Birth John HAGGERTY, 1864, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 446 (this record series does not include the mother’s maiden name).
1901 Census record of John HAGGARTY at age 40 indicates a possible birth year of about 1861.
1891 Census record of John HAGERTY at age 31 indicates a possible birth year of about 1860.
1881 Census record of John HAGGARTY age 20 indicates a possible birth year of about 1861.
Marriage of John HAGGERTY to Margaret BRETT, 1886, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 747. The Marriage Certificate held by their descendants gives the marriage date of 3 July 1886. John was a Widower, age 25. His occupation was “Labourer in Cement Works”, and he was living at 6 Burton Street, Birkenhead. His father’s name was listed as William HAGGARTY, occupation Labourer. Margaret was a Spinster, age 21. Her occupation was Barmaid, and she was living at 202 Brook Street, Birkenhead. Her father was Stephen BRETT, a Master of Ferry Steam Boat. They were married in the Church of St. Laurence, Park Street, Birkenhead, according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church. Witnesses were John Bellis (or John B Ellis?) and Martha Quinn (?) (Ellis and Quinn families were neighbours of John and Margaret in the Morpeth Building in the 1891 Census. 6 Burton Street was the address for the related Gordon family in both the 1891 and 1901 census, and John and Margaret's son John was listed as a nephew living with the Gordon family at 10 Bentinck Street in 1911. The families obviously maintained close contact. There is also an A. Quinn in the St. Anselm's Rugby team photo beside John Heggarty, and both are on the School Board of Remembrance – photos in previous section.)
Death John HEGGERTY (F/O John HEGGARTY’s grandfather) – not determined.

Grandmother Margaret HAGGERTY (née BRETT).
Birth Margaret Jane BRETT, 1865, registered 1st qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 469.
Marriage Margaret BRETT
to John HAGGERTY, 1886, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 747 (age 21, birth year 1865, details included above).
Death Margaret HAGGARTY,
1898, age 33, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 294 (birth year of about 1865).

Children of John HAGGERTY and Margaret (née BRETT).
Birth Frances HAGERTY, 1887, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 545. After her mother’s death in 1898, Frances assisted her father in raising her three younger siblings, until her own early death from illness. Her father John did not re-marry.
Death Frances HAGGARTY, 1909, age 21, registered 1st qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 357 (birth year about 1888).
Birth John HEGGERTY, 1889, 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 462. John was known as Jack.
Birth Stephen HAGGARTY, 1892, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 533. Stephen did not marry.
Possible Death Stephen HEGGARTY, 1958, age 66 (= birth year 1892).
Birth Margaret HAGGARTY, 1895, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 467.
Marriage Margaret HEGGARTY to H____, 1922, registered 2ndqtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1221. Margaret H____ (née HEGGARTY) had five children, four sons (all now deceased) followed by one daughter (living). Details have been kept private, however, the daughter of Margaret’s only daughter made contact in April 2011, and kindly provided information which enabled corrections and additions to the HEGGARTY genealogy.

F/O John HEGGARTY’s paternal great-grandparents.

Great-Grandfather William HAGGARTY/HEGARTY/HAGGERTY, his name is listed in census records, 1851 (age 26), 1861 (age 36), 1871 (age 45), 1881 (age 50, or 56?), 1891 (age 65). Except for 1851 census, when his birth was recorded as being in Liverpool, all other census years list him as as being born in Ireland. His birth year would most likely be about 1825 or 1826.
Marriage to Mary, date not determined, but listed as married in the 1851 census.
Death, date not determined, but still living in 1891.

Great-Grandmother Mary HAGGARTY/HEGARTY/HAGGERTY, her name is listed in census records, 1851 (age 25), 1861 (age 36), 1871 (age 45), 1881 (age 56), 1891 (age 65), Except for 1851 census, when her birth was recorded as being in Liverpool, all other census years list her as as being born in Ireland. Her birth year would most likely be about 1825 or 1826.
Marriage to Mary, date not determined, but listed as married in 1851 census.
Death, date not determined, but still living in 1891.

Children of William and Mary HAGGARTY/HEGARTY/HAGGERTY (from Census records), all born in Birkenhead.
Christopher born about 1851 or 1852 (after the 1851 census)
Mary Jane born about 1855 (possibly later married James Gordon, see census data)
James born about 1857
William born about 1859
John born about 1861 (age 3 months at 1861 Census) – Airman John Heggarty's Grandfather
Francis born about 1865

F/O John HEGGARTY’s maternal grandparents.

Grandfather Joseph LEDGER
Birth ? Joseph LEDGER, registered 1st qtr 1848, District Liverpool, Vol 20, Page 462 (see also Census records below).
Marriage ? Joseph LEDGER to LYONS, 1880, registered 2nd qtr, District Liverpool, Vol 8b, Page 67.
Death Joseph LEDGER, 27 February 1909, age 57, (birth year about 1852), registered 1st qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 408. This is a match for age 48 in 1901 Census, which gave a birth year of about 1853. He was buried on 3 March 1909 in the LEDGER family Grave 5R/16, Roman Catholic section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey.

Grandmother Margaret Ann LEDGER
Birth ? Margaret Ann LYONS, registered 2nd qtr 1858, District Liverpool, Vol 8b, Page 110 (see also Census records below). (Family advise that the name LYONS is part of the LEDGER family history.)
Marriage ? Margaret Ann LYONS to LEDGER, 1880, registered 2nd qtr, District Liverpool, Vol 8b, Page 67.
Death Margaret A LEDGER, 8 April 1922, age 63, (birth year about 1859), registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 657. This is not a good match for age 47 in 1901 census, which gave a birth year of 1854, however errors in age and birth years are not uncommon in genealogy. The 1891 census age lists her a birth year of 1859, and this person has been confirmed by family as being Ellen’s mother. Margaret died a few months before the birth of her grandson John and the subsequent death of her daughter Ellen. She was buried on 12 April 1922 in the LEDGER family Grave 5R/16.

Descendants of Joseph and Margaret Ann LEDGER, as advised in November 2011 by Jeffrey MEYVAERT, the son of Jessie LEDGER. Previous information on this web page has been amended, or deleted where not relevant.

1. Ellen (Nellie) – born 1882, married 1913, died 1922 aged 40 (birth, marriage to John William HEGGARTY, death, and children John and Annie listed above).

2. Joseph (Joe) – born 1884(?), married 1913, died 1937 aged 53.

Birth ??
Marriage Joseph LEDGER
(Joe) to Ada WILLIAMS, 1913, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1345.
Marriage Ada WILLIAMS
to LEDGER, 1913, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1345.
Death Joseph LEDGER 28 July 1937 at Strand Palace Hotel in London aged 53, registered 3rd qtr, District Westminster, Vol 1a, Page 431. Buried on 31 July 1937, in LEDGER family Grave 5R/65.
Probate for Joseph LEDGER of 7 St. George's Mount, Wallasey, granted at Liverpool on 16 September 1937 to Widow Ada LEDGER, effects £1056 2s 3d.
Death Ada LEDGER, aged 83, cremated 31 July 1970, ashes interred on 11 November 1970 in LEDGER family Grave 5R/65.

Children of Joe and Ada LEDGER, cousins to John HEGGARTY

Birth Margaret Eunice LEDGER, 17 October 1914, mother née Williams, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1025. (Known as Eunice)
Marriage Margaret E. LEDGER to John Norman LEESE, 1940, registered 3rd qtr, District Wallasey, Vol 8a, Page 2493.
Death Margaret Eunice LEESE, age 75, registered Aug 1990, District Birkenhead, Vol 37, Page 793.
Death John Norman LEESE, age 78, registered Feb 1993, District Birkenhead, Reg. No. D17B, Entry 197. (Birth 21 May 1914)

Child of margaret Eunice and John Norman LEESE
Birth Ian Norman LEES, 19 April 1949, mother LEDGER, registered 3rd qtr 1949, District Birkenhead, Vol 10a, Page 93.
Marriage ?
Death Ian Norman LEESE, June 2005 age 56 (?)

Birth Joan F. LEDGER, 6 August 1921, mother née Williams, registered 3rd qtr, District Chester, Vol 8a, Page 648.
Marriage Joan Frances LEDGER to Ronald Henry BRANSBURY, 1956, 4th qtr, District Wallasey, Vol 10a, Page 1032.
Death Joan Frances BRANSBURY, age 73, registered May 1975, District Birkenhead, Reg. No. A22B, Entry 51.
Death Ronald Henry BRANSBURY, 1974, age 74, registered 2nd qtr, District Wallasey, Vol 37, Page 1175. (Birth 22 Sept 1899)
Children ?

3. Margaret (Maggie) – born 1885, married 1904, died 1966 aged 81.

Birth Margaret Ann LEDGER, 1885, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 582.
Marriage Margaret Ann LEDGER to Denis KEOGH, 1904, registered 2nd qtr, District Liverpool, County Lancashire, Vol 8b, Page 208. This is the “Margaret Ann KEOGH (wife of Denis KEOGH)” who was named in the Probate documents for John W. HEGGARTY, deceased in 1932.
Death Margaret Ann KEOGH aged 81, buried 12 September 1966 in LEDGER family Grave 5R/65.

4. Jessie – born 1886, married 1914, died 1938 aged 51.

Birth Jessie LEDGER, 11 December 1886, registered 1st qtr 1887, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 523.
Marriage Jessie LEDGER to Fernand MEYVAERT, 6 October 1914, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1094.
Death Jessie MEYVAERT, 17 April 1938, age 51, Registered 2nd qtr, District Hastings, Vol 2b, Page 16.
Death Fernand MEYVAERT, 25 November 1942, aged 50, died and buried at sea after 33 years at sea in Merchant Navy (Belgian national, birth year about 1892).

Child of Jessie and Fernand MEYVAERT, first-cousin of F/O John HEGGARTY.
Birth Fernand J. MEYVAERT, 12 November 1921, registered 1st qtr 1922, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 938.
Fernand J. Meyvaert was later known as Paul Jeffrey Meyvaert. Jeffrey made contact with this website's author in November 2011, and kindly provided family information, which enabled corrections and additions to the LEDGER genealogy. In his early life Jeffrey was a Benedictine Monk, with the religious name Paul. Ordained in 1946, he left the monastery in 1965, and was released from his vows by Rome. He married Ann Freeman on 4 February 1967 in Pittsburgh, and their long-awaited adopted baby daughter arrived in 1970. Ann and Jeffrey were accomplished scholars and published authors of Medieval History. Jeffrey's autobiography was published in 2005 as the book "Jeffrey's Story". Ann Freeman died in 2008. An Honorary Associate of Harvard University, Paul Jeffrey Meyvaert died at his home in Cambridge, Boston, Mass., USA on 6 October 2015, one month before his 94th birthday. Several Obituaries for him are available online.

5. Henry Patrick – born 1889, married 1914, died 1917 aged 28.

Birth Henry Patrick LEDGER, 1888, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 535.
Marriage Henry P. LEDGER
to GRIFFIN, 1914, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1220.
Marriage Louisa May GRIFFIN to LEDGER, 1914, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1220. This confirms that John HEGGARTY’s next-of-kin, Aunt Louisa May LEDGER (known as May) was married to his mother Ellen’s brother.
Death Henry Patrick LEDGER, 1917, age 28, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 646. This death is not listed with the CWGC so does not appear to be directly related to WWI. This gives a birth year of ~1888/1889, and matches the age of 12 for Henry P. LEDGER in the 1901 Census. Henry was buried on 12 May 1917 in the LEDGER family Grave 5R/32.
Death Louisa May LEDGER (née GRIFFIN) 1960, age 71, registered 2nd qtr, District Wallasey, Vol 10a, Page 626. (Birth year about 1889). She was buried on 17 June 1960 in the LEDGER family Grave 5R/32.
Birth Louisa May GRIFFIN, 1889, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 589 (match for death record).
England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administration), 1858-1966, 1961 page 732 ... (quote) ...
LEDGER Louisa May, of 19 Castle Road Wallasey Cheshire widow died 14 June 1960 Administration Liverpool 9 June to Gertrude Hilda Ledger spinster. Effects £4164 15s.

Children of Louisa May and Henry P. LEDGER – 1 daughter and 1 son, cousins to John HEGGARTY.
Birth Gertrude H. LEDGER, 1915, mother née GRIFFIN, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 1096. She did not marry.
Death Gertrude Hilda LEDGER, 1985, age 69, (birth 28 May 1915), registered May 1985, District Birkenhead, Vol 37, Page 905. (Matches birth record). She was buried on 17 May 1985 in the LEDGER family Grave 5R/32.

Birth Henry J LEDGER, 1917, mother née GRIFFIN, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 864. He did not marry.
Death Henry Joseph LEDGER
, 1989, age 72, (birth 7 Aug 1917), registered Dec 1989, District Wallasey, Merseyside, Vol 37, Page 1222. (Matches birth record). He was buried on 27 December 1989 in the LEDGER family Grave 5R/32.

John HEGGARTY was fostered at age 10 by his widowed Aunt Louisa May and was raised with his cousins Henry Joseph (known as Harry), and Gertrude Hilda (known as Hilda). As a child and teenager, John was known by the cousins as Jack.

6. Annie – born 1890, did not marry, died 1914 aged 24.

Birth Annie LEDGER, 1890, registered 2nd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 576.
Death Annie LEDGER, 4 December 1914, age 24, birth year about 1890, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 692. Buried on 8 December 1914, in LEDGER family Grave 5R/16.

7. Emily Frances – born 1892, did not marry, died 1933 aged 41.

Birth Emily Frances LEDGER, 1892, registered 1st qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 547.
Death Emily F. LEDGER, 1933, age 41, birth year about 1892, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 694.

? Death Emily Louise LEDGER, age 41. Buried on 8 December 1933, in LEDGER family Grave 5R/65. (Uncertainty regarding this person – Is this an error for Emily Frances born in 1892? or a possible wife of her younger brother John Charles LEDGER, Emily (née PARKINSON) of the same age? (see later entry)

8. Isabella (Little Bell) – born 1893, died 8 November 1893 aged 17 days, buried 13 November 1893, memorial on LEDGER family Grave 5R/16.

Birth Isabella LEDGER, 1893, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 546.
Death Isabella LEDGER, 1893, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 407.

9. Catherine Theresa (Gypsy) – born 1895, died 1901 aged 6.

Birth Catherine Theresa LEDGER, 1895, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 574.
Death Catherine Theresa LEDGER, 1 July 1901, age 6, birth year about 1895, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 367.
Buried on 4 July 1901 in LEDGER family Grave 5R/16.

10. John Charles – born 1896, died 1927 aged 30.

Birth John Charles LEDGER, 1896, registered 3rd qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 553.
? Marriage John C. LEDGER to PARKINSON, 1920, registered 4th qtr, District Doncaster, Vol 9c, Page 1764.
? Marriage Emily PARKINSON to LEDGER, 1920, registered 4th qtr, District Doncaster, Vol 9c, Page 1764.
Death John Charles LEDGER, 1927 age 30. Buried on 17 March 1927, in LEDGER family Grave 5R/65.
Death Emily Louise LEDGER, age 41. Buried on 8 December 1933, in LEDGER family Grave 5R/65. (Uncertainty regarding this person – Is this an error for John's older sister Emily Frances born in 1892? or John's possible wife Emily (née PARKINSON) of the same age?)

11. George Anthony (Little Georgie) – born 1899, died 23 February 1900 aged 4½ months. Buried on 27 February 1900, in LEDGER family Grave 5R/16.

Birth George Anthony LEDGER, 1899, registered 4th qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 563.
Death George Anthony LEDGER, 1900, registered 1st qtr, District Birkenhead, Vol 8a, Page 467.

Grave 5R/16, with headstone, Roman Catholic Section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey – Joseph and (wife) Margaret LEDGER, and four of their children, George Anthony, Isabella, Catherine Theresa, and Annie.
Grave 5R/32, with headstone, Roman Catholic Section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey – Henry Patrick and (wife) Louisa May LEDGER, and their two children Gertrude Hilda and Henry Joseph.
Grave 5R/65, no headstone, Roman Catholic Section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey – Joseph and (wife) Ada LEDGER, and Joseph's brother John Charles LEDGER, sister Margaret Ann KEOGH (née LEDGER), and also Emily Louise LEDGER (relationship as yet uncertain).
Grave 6R/104, no headstone, in the Roman Catholic Section of the Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey John William and (wife) Ellen HEGGARTY.

First cousins of John HEGGARTY and his sister Ann/Annie/Nan were Margaret Eunice and Joan Frances LEDGER; Gertrude Hilda and Joseph Henry LEDGER; and Jeffrey MEYVAERT as advised by Jeffrey in November 2011.

Gores Directory listing for 19 Castle Road, Liscard, Wallasey, Cheshire. This is the address listed for Mrs Louisa May LEDGER in 1945 on John HEGGARTY’s 462 Squadron Arrival Form, 462 Squadron casualty files, and M.J.Hibberd’s personal papers.
19 Castle Road, Liscard, Wallasey, Cheshire 1943 until 1960 – Mrs Louisa LEDGER (this matches with her death record in 1960).
19 Castle Road, Liscard, Wallasey, Cheshire 1962 – Miss LEDGER – probably Louisa May’s daughter Gertrude H. LEDGER born in 1915.
19 Castle Road, Liscard, Wallasey, Cheshire 1966 – Mr Henry J. LEDGER – probably Louisa May’s son born in 1917.
The Gores/Kelly’s Directory’s only lists Liverpool entries after 1964. Wirral is not included after that date. These directories are only published every couple of years so 1961, 1963, and 1964, are not available. Wallasey is now a part of Merseyside, due to boundary changes in the 1970s (ref: Graham Mitchell).

Telephone Directory 1967 – LEDGER G. H., 19 Castle Road, New Brighton 2934 – probably Louisa May’s daughter Gertrude H. LEDGER born in 1915. New Brighton would have been the telephone exchange for the Liscard, Wallasey area (ref: Graham Mitchell).
Telephone Directory Cheshire 1984 page 201 – LEDGER G. H., 19 Castle Road, New Brighton 2934 (see also death record 1985).
There was only one ‘LEDGER’ in the 2008 telephone book for that area, but with a different address. It is not known if this person is related.

Also from Graham Mitchell was another possible relative who was a former member of the catering staff of Victoria Central Hospital, Mill Lane, Wallasey. This lady had the surname HEGGARTY but was known to most people in the catering staff and hospital as 'Heggy’. Her first name is unknown. In 2008 there were only 3 telephone listings for HEGGARTY in the Wallasey area, but it is not known if they are relatives of F/O John HEGGARTY, or if one is the hospital 'Heggy'.
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Census Records – for the names of HEGGARTY and variations (family of John’s father), LEDGER (family of John’s mother) and GRIFFIN (family of John’s Aunt Louisa May).

Census records for HEGGARTY/HEGGERTY/HAGGERTY/HAGGARTY.

1911 Census 1
Country Cheshire, Parish of Birkenhead, Registration District and sub-district Birkenhead, Enumeration District 15, Schedule Number 121.
Address 15 Gladstone Street, Birkenhead, 2 rooms, 3 persons (2 males and 1 female), signed by John Heggarty using his mark "X", form possible completed by son Stephen (or the Enumerator), and the name for daughter Margaret is spelled incorrectly. Includes total children born alive as 5, with 3 living and 2 deceased, however this has been crossed out.
John Heggarty, Head, age 50, Widower, birth year 1861, Dock Labourer, for various shipping companys (sic), born in Birkenhead, Cheshire. (This is Airman John Heggarty's Grandfather.)
(Son John was not at home see listing with Gordon Family.)
Stephen Heggarty, son, age 18, single, birth year 1893, Butcher's Assistant, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Maregart (sic, Margaret) Heggarty, daughter, age 16, single, birth year 1895, Domestic Servant, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.

1911 Census – 2
Country Cheshire, Civil Parish of Birkenhead, Registration District and sub-district Birkenhead, Enumeration District 16, Schedule Number 120.
Address 10 Bentinck Street, Birkenhead, 5 rooms, 10 persons (7 males and 3 females), signed by Christopher Gordon, son of the Head, but form completed in different hand-writing. Note added by Enumerator "Both families living together".
Family 1
Mary Jane GORDON, Head, age 56, Widow, 9 children born alive, 9 children still living, no further information recorded.
Christopher GORDON, son, 20, single, Pawnbroker's Assistant, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Francis GORDON, son, 18, single, Window Cleaner, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire (incorrectly transcribed as Frances).
Edith GORDON, daughter, 16, Domestic, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.
John HAGGARTY, nephew, 21, single, Window Cleaner, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire. (This is Airman John Heggarty's father, known as Jack.)
Family 2 O'Neill family, current marriage for 6 years, 4 living children born, 3 still living, 1 deceased;
Patrick O'Neill, Husband, age 33, Dock Labourer for Cargo Boats, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Elizabeth O'Neill, wife, age 33, married, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire (birth year ~1878).
John E Reynolds, Stepson, age 9, single, School, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.

Francis B O'Neill, son, age 5, single, School, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.
Christopher O'Neill, son, age 2, single, born in Birkenhead, Cheshire.
The relationship between the O'Neill and Gordon families has not been investigated, however Elizabeth O'Neill (born ~1878) may be the oldest daughter of Mary Jane Gordon (born 1877).
John Heggarty is listed as Mary Jane Gordon's nephew, and he was working as a Window cleaner, the same employment as his cousin Francis Gordon.
A investigation of the Gordon family using Census records has revealed ....
1881, James Gordon head, age 29, general labourer, born in Ireland; his wife Mary J, age 25, born in Birkenhead, daughter Elizabeth, age 4, daughter Ellen age 2, both born in Birkenhead. This family lived at 295 Brook St, Birkenhead (Schedule 70), the same address as William and Mary Haggarty in 1881 (Schedule 69). (Margaret Brett was living at 202 Brook Street when she married John Haggerty in 1886.)
1891, James Gordon (39), wife Mary Jane (35) and 6 children (4 sons and 2 daughters, with Elizabeth absent and possibly already working), living at 6 Burton Street, Birkenhead, Schedule 247. (John Haggerty (snr) was living at this address when he married Margaret Brett in 1886.)
1901, James Gordon (49), wife Mary Jane (46) and 5 children (4 sons and 1 daughter) were still living at 6 Burton Street, Birkenhead, Schedule 208.
James Gordon, and William & Mary Haggarty were all born in Ireland, and their 2 families were sharing rooms in 1881. It is possible that James married their daughter Mary Jane (born 1855), as Mary Jane Gordon's age and estimated birth year match. In 1911, Widow Mary Jane Gordon (daughter of William & Mary; and sister of John snr) was accommodating her nephew John (grandson of William & Mary; son of John and Margaret; and later, husband of Ellen and father of Airman John Heggarty).

1901 Census
Civil Parish Birkenhead, Ecclesiastical Parish St. Anne, Registration District Birkenhead, County Cheshire (PRO ref RG 13/3393).
Address 6 Myrtle Court.
John HAGGARTY, Head, Widower, age 40, Occupation Labourer in Oil Works, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year about 1861). (F/O John HEGGARTY’s Grandfather.)
Frances HAGGARTY, daughter, age 13, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1888).
John HAGGARTY, son, age 11, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1890). (F/O John HEGGARTY’s father, known as Jack.)
Stephen HAGGARTY, age 8, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1893).
Margaret HAGGARTY, daughter 5, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1896).

1891 Census
Civil Parish Birkenhead, Ecclesiastical Parish of Saint Peter, Registration District Birkenhead, County Cheshire (PRO ref RG 12/2882).
Address 4 Morpeth Bldg.
John HAGERTY, Head, married, age 31, Occupation dock labourer, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1860). (F/O John HEGGARTY’s Grandfather.)
Margaret HAGERTY, Wife, married, age 27, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1864).
Frances HAGERTY, Daughter, age 4, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1887).
John HAGERTY, Son, age 2, birthplace Cheshire, Birkenhead. (birth year of about 1889/1890, and F/O John HEGGARTY's father, known as Jack.)

1881 Census
Civil Parish Birkenhead, Ecclesiastical Parish of Saint Peter, Registration District Birkenhead, County Cheshire (PRO ref RG 11/3579).
Address 295 Brook St, Birkenhead, Schedule 69.
William HAGGARTY, Head, married, age 50 (or 56?), Occupation Labourer at the Docks, birthplace Ireland (birth year of about 1831). (F/O John HEGGARTY’s Great-Grandfather.)
Mary HAGGARTY, Wife, married, age 56, birth place Ireland. (birth year of about 1825).
John HAGGARTY, son, age 20, unmarried, Labourer at the Docks, birthplace Chester, Birkenhead (birth year of about 1861). (F/O John HEGGARTY’s Grandfather.)
This John HAGGARTY aged 20 is F/O John HEGGARTY’s Grandfather, and explains the Irish heritage which comes from both of the paternal Irish-born Great-Grandparents. Family copy of his certificate of marriage to Margaret BRETT verifies that Grandfather John’s father was named William.

The census records for the family of John HEGGARTY’s Great-grandparents William and Mary can be traced from 1851 through each census to 1891, with variations in spelling.
1851 HAGGARTY, William age 26, dock labourer, and wife Mary age 25, no children; address 7 Club Row, Ecclesiastical Parish Holy Trinity, both born Liverpool.
1861 HEGARTY, Wm age 36, labourer, wife Mary age 36, children son Chris 10 (transcribed as 12), Mary Jane age 6, son Jas 4, son Wm age 2, son Jno 3mths; address 74 St Anns St., Ecclesiastical Parish Holy Trinity, William and Mary both born in Ireland, all children born Birkenhead, Cheshire. (Record incorrectly list William’s age as 26.)
1871 HAGGERTY, William age 45 dock labourer, wife Mary age 45, children son Christopher 19 dock labourer, James 14, William 12, John 10, son Francis (record as Frances) 6; address 24 B____ A__ Tce (illegible); Ecclesiastical Parish St Peter; William and Mary both born in Ireland, all children born Birkenhead, Cheshire.
1881 HAGGARTY, William age 50 (or 56?), dock labourer, wife Mary age 56, son John age 20 dock labourer, address 295 Brook St., Ecclesiastical Parish St Peter; William and Mary both born in Ireland, son John born Birkenhead, Cheshire.
1891 HEGARTY, William age 65, dock labourer, wife Mary age 65, address 4 Vine St., Ecclesiastical Parish St Peter; William and Mary both born in Ireland.

Census records for LEDGER.

1911 Census Summary Books – Head of Household Margaret A. LEDGER, with 8 persons, 3 males and 5 females living at 87 Birkenhead Road, Seacombe, Wallasey, County Cheshire, Parish Poulton cum Seacombe, Ecclesiastical Parish Seacombe St Paul, Sub District Wallasey, Registration District Birkenhead, Schedule number 350, dwelling house with herb beer shop, signed by Margaret Ann Ledger.
Margaret Ann LEDGER, wife, age 52, Widow, birth year 1859, 30 years married, 11 children born alive, 8 living, 3 deceased, no occupation listed, born in Liverpool, Lancs.
Ellen LEDGER, daughter, 28, single, birth year 1883, no occupation listed, born in Liverpool, Lancs.
Joseph LEDGER, son, 27, single, birth year 1884, Music Salesman for Music Warehouse, born in Liverpool, Lancs.
Jessie LEDGER, daughter, 24, single, birth year 1887, no occupation listed, born in Seacombe, Cheshire.
Harry/Henry Patrick LEDGER, son, 22, single, birth year 1889, Dock Labourer, born in Seacombe, Cheshire.
Annie LEDGER, daughter, 21, single, birth year 1890, Fancy Box Maker at Cardboard Factory, born in Seacombe, Cheshire.
Emily LEDGER, daughter, 19, single, birth year 1892, Fancy Box Maker at Cardboard Factory, born in Seacombe, Cheshire.
John Charles LEDGER, son, 14, birth year 1897, Apprentice Ships Joiner, birthplace not recorded.
This is a match for the 1901 census data, and shows that Ellen, unmarried, was still living with her family.
This was the same address that Ellen/Nellie HEGGARTY and baby Annie moved back to, during her husband John/Jack HEGGARTY’s army service in WW1.

1901 Census
County Cheshire, District Birkenhead, Sub-registration District of Wallasey, Div of Wirral, Civil Parish Poulton Cum Seacombe, Ecclesiastical Parish Seacombe St Paul.  PRO Reference RG 13/3405.
Address 4, Brougham Tce, Birkenhead Rd.
Joseph LEDGER, Head, married, 48, Stevedore (?) Store Keeper (Docks), Worker, born Lancs., Liverpool (birth year about 1853).
Margaret LEDGER, wife, married, 47, born Lancs., Liverpool (birth year about 1854). (Possible transcription error, as original census hand-written entry for age looks like 42, thus giving a birth year about 1859).
Ellen, daughter, single, 18, born Lancs., Liverpool.
Joseph, son, single, 17, Dock labourer, Worker, born Lancs., Liverpool.
Margaret, daughter, single, 15, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Jessie, dau, 14, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Henry P. son, 12, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Annie, dau, 11, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Emily, dau, 9, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Catherine T., dau, 5, born Cheshire Seacombe.
John Charles, son, 4, born Cheshire Seacombe.
The age of this Ellen LEDGER (18 in 1901) gives an approximate birth year for Ellen as 1883, and is a close match for Ellen HEGGARTY née LEDGER age 40 in 1922 (birth year 1882). Her birth place of Liverpool, Lancashire also proves that she was not born in Ireland.

1891 Census
County Cheshire, District Birkenhead, Sub-registration District of Wallasey, Civil Parish Poulton with Seacombe, Ecclesiastical Parish St Paul.  PRO Reference RG 12/2896.
Address 57 Glade Tce.
Joseph LEDGER, Head, married, 39, Dock Labourer, born Glamorganshire, Swansea (birth year about 1852).
Margaret A. LEDGER, wife, married, 32, born Lancs., Liverpool (birth year about 1859).
Ellen, daughter, 8, Scholar, born Lancs., Liverpool.
Joseph, son, 7, Scholar, born Lancs., Liverpool.
Margaret A., daughter, 5, Scholar, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Jessie, dau, 4, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Henry P. son, 2, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Annie, dau, 1, born Cheshire Seacombe.
Annie Hill, 19, General Servant, born Lancashire, Wigan.
Note the variations between the 1891 and 1901 census for birthplace of Joseph snr (born either in Lancashire or Glamorganshire Wales) and Wife Margaret's birth year (probable transcription error for age).

Census records for GRIFFIN family (Louisa May GRIFFIN, married name LEDGER, aunt & foster-mother of John HEGGARTY)

1911 census
Parish of Liscard, Registration District of Birkenhead, sub-reg District Wallasey, County Cheshire, Schedule Number 107.
28 Tower Street, Liscard, Cheshire, 5 rooms, 3 males and 3 females, signed by Jane Griffin.
Jane GRIFFIN, Head of Household, married, age 56, birth year 1855, Occupation Charwomen on own account, born in Liscard Cheshire. 12 children born alive, 9 still living, 3 deceased.
Maggie WEATHERBY, daughter, married, 28, birth year 1883, employment not listed, born in Liscard.
May GRIFFIN, daughter, single, 22, birth year 1889, Laundress in Laundry, born in Liscard.
George GRIFFIN, son, single, 20, 1891, Engine Fitter at Crane & Winch Maker, born in Liscard.
Bernard GRIFFIN, son, single, 12, 1899, School, born in Liscard.
John WEATHERBY, Brother-in-law, married, 37, birth year 1874, Photographer on own account, working from home, born in Southford Lancashire (Maggie's husband).

1901 Census
Civil Parish of Liscard, Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary, Registration District of Birkenhead, sub-reg District Wallasey, County Cheshire (PRO Record reference RG 13/3403).
5 Rossett Pl., Liscard.
Patrick GRIFFIN, Head of household, age 45, Boot-maker, Worker, born in Ireland.
Mary Jane, wife, age 45, born Cheshire, Liscard.
Mary, daughter, age 26, Laundress, worker, born Ches., Liscard.
Grace, daughter, age 24, Servant, domestic, born Ches., Liscard.
Sarah, daughter, age 21, Hospital nurse, born Lancs., Southport.
Maggie, daughter, age 19, servant domestic, born Ches., Liscard.
Lissie, daughter, age 17, Laundress, worker, born Ches., Liscard.
Jane, daughter, age 15, Laundress, worker, born Ches., Liscard.
May, daughter, age 11, School, born Ches., Liscard.
George, son, age 9, school, born Ches., Liscard.
Bernard, son, age 2, born Ches., Liscard.
May’s age of 11 gives a birth year of about 1890, a probable match for the birth & death records of Louisa May LEDGER née GRIFFIN (birth year of about 1889).

1891 Census
Civil Parish of Liscard, Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary, Registration District of Birkenhead, sub-reg District Wallasey, County Cheshire (PRO Record reference RG 12/2895).
5 Rossett Place, Liscard (same address as 1901 Census).
Patrick GRIFFIN, Head of household, age 37 (birth year about 1854), Boot-maker, born in Ireland.
Mary J, wife, age 37, born Cheshire, Liscard  (Mary Jane in 1901 census).
Mary, daughter, age 16, Domestic Servant, born Ches., Liscard.
Grace, daughter, age 14, Scholar, born Ches., Liscard.
Sarah, daughter, age 12, Scholar, born Lancs., Southport.
Margaret A, daughter, age 10, Scholar, born Ches., Liscard (Maggie in 1901 census).
Elizabeth, daughter, age 8, Scholar, born Ches., Liscard (Lissie in 1901 census).
Jane, daughter, age 6, Scholar, worker, born Ches., Liscard.
Louise M, daughter, age 1, born Ches., Liscard (named as May in 1901 and 1911 Censuses).
Patrick G, son, 1 month (not in 1901 Census).

1881 Census
Civil Parish of North Meols, Ecclesiastical Parish of Christ Church, Registration District of Ormskirk, sub-reg District North Meols, County Lancashire (PRO Record reference RG 11/3752).
5 Hodson St, Southport (different address from 1901 Census).
Patrick GRIFFIN, Head of household, age 27 (birth year about 1854), Boot-maker, born in Ireland.
My. Jane, wife, age 27, born Cheshire, Liscard  (Mary Jane in 1901 census).
Mary, daughter, age 6, Domestic Servant, born Ches., Liscard.
Grace, daughter, age 4, Scholar, born Ches., Liscard.
Sarah, daughter, age 2, Scholar, born Lancs., North Meols, Southport.

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