An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten


Captain, 7th (Service) Battalion,
Duke of York’s Own (East Yorkshire Regiment).

Born 10 January 1893,
Died 10 July 1916, aged 23 years.

Believed to be buried in Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz,
Somme, France, Special Memorial 19.

He died “at the head of his company” near Mametz Wood during the Battle of the Somme. Another Old Coathamian, Lieutenant William Featherstone (q.v.), is buried in the same cemetery, in which 1,572 soldiers are buried or commemorated.

Thomas Heathcock was the son of William and Elizabeth Ann Heathcock. His father was a labourer in the steel works. He had a younger sister, Elizabeth, and when in 1905, aged 12, he came to Coatham Grammar School, his family lived at 111, Vickers Street, Grangetown. Like Archibald Hunter (q.v.) he entered the school on a North Riding County Council Scholarship, coming from Grangetown Council School. At school he was a very able all-rounder, distinguishing himself in his studies and in sports, playing for the 1st XI both in cricket and football, as well as being the school’s first Fives Champion. He took part in plays, concerts, and debates and was a close contemporary of Reginald Rapp (q.v.). His examination record was outstanding and he became Head Boy in 1911, the same year as he won an Open Scholarship of £60 for Science at Cambridge University, the first of several awards he won. He stayed at school for an extra year as a pupil teacher before going on to Pembroke College, Cambridge, from where he graduated with First Class Honours in Natural Sciences in 1914. He volunteered for Kitchener's Army in August 1914. During his time at Coatham he had received numerous books as prizes, which were returned to the school after the War by his already-widowed mother, as a memorial to him.