Sgt. Albert Robert Cecil Heywood
Army Service No. 5346450
Sgt. Albert Robert Cecil Heywood enlisted on the
26 June 1940 at Reading.
Sgt Heywood left Glasgow in March 1941 aboard
RMS Empress of Canada.
Press Cutting which reads:
VOICE OF A HERO.
...The voice of Sergeant Albert Heywood, Royal Berkshire Regiment, of 4. Beech-road, Green Street, Green, was heard on Monday night in "Mandalay." the starred programme in the B.B.C. Home Service, which told the story of the campaign that led to the capture of the city by troops of the 33rd Indian Corps.
...Sergeant Heywood gave a fighting man's vivid description of the rapid advance from Madaya down to Mandalay and the walls of Fort Dufferin. But though listeners heard the sergeant's voice, the sergeant himself was dead. The programme was compiled and recorded in Burma during the first three months of 1945. Sergeant Heywood was wounded in action and subsequently died of his wounds. In the interval he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
...Mrs. Heywood, of Green-Street-Green, is staying with her mother, Mrs. Hone. There is one. Sergeant Heywood joined up five years ago. Aged 29, he was in the building trade, and had been living with his wife at the Green.
D.O. No. 13302 A.
H.Q., 19 Ind Div
21 May 1945.
Dear Sergeant Heywood,
...I send you my very best congratulations on the Immediate Award of the DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.
...In gaining this honour, you have earned not only great military distinction for yourself but also for your Regiment and for The 19th Dagger Division.
...The Corps Commander also wishes me to convey his congratulations to you.
T. W. Rees.
21 5 45
Comd 19th Indian Division.
No. 5346450 Sgt. A. R. C. HEYWOOD
2 R. Berks
Condolants conveyed to Mrs. Heywood on 23/8/45 Rw
2nd Royal Berks Rgt.
Dear Mrs. Heywood,
...It with the very deepest regret and sorrow that I am writing to condole with you on the death of your husband who died of wounds after being hit in the leg by a shell whilst fighting with us in Mandalay.
...To us, it is no exaggeration to say that he meant a very great deal and his loss is quite irreplaceable.
...I have known him since he was a private soldier in the Coy. in 1942 and seen him go from strength to strength - he was before we came to Burma, a model soldier, always keen and wanting to learn, taking every advantage to increase his knowledge. When we came here and were in action he really started to shine - never could we have had a finer man - quite unafraid always encouraging his men, the most magnificent example to all of us. You would have been proud of his achievements. I don't expect he said much to you - we were proud of him. He was wounded earlier on and yet on coming back he was only concerned with getting the better of the Jap and continued again to do brilliant things. He himself had killed more Japs than any other man in the Company.
...To you and your daughter, Mrs. Heywood, may well feel very proud - no man could have done more for his country than he and it is men like him who set us all the highest example to follow.
...We, out here, who also may be gone tomorrow and who also have wives and children console ourselves in the thought that if we die, we die doing our duty for our country and more than that in these none of us ask. I know his sentiments were these and he would like you to know them.
...He had been put in for a D.C.M. the highest award bar the V.C. that he could have got and should this be granted you will be informed.
...He was buried by the hospital people and the War Graves Commision can inform you of the location of his grave.
Once more my deepest sympathy.
O. C. Hill Major.
THE BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION
Broadcasting House, London, W.I
TELEPHONE: WELBECK 4468 TELEGRAMS: BROADCASTS, LONDON
June 13, 1945
Dear Mrs Heywood,
...I was sincerely distressed to read of your husband's death. Though I was only with him for an hour or two, it was long enough for me to realise what a fine man he was. I felt a very genuine liking and respect for him; and this feeling was shared, I know other men and officers in his company. May I offer you my deepest sympathy?
...I cannot at the moment promise to get you a record of his broadcast, but I will do my utmost. The BBC recordings are not suitable for ordinary gramophones; they would wear out after being played two or three times. But when the shortened version of "Mandalay" is broadcast in the Forces programme on June 21 at 12.30 (mid day), it is being recorded at the same time for permanent presentation. This will mean that records will be made of it which can be played on ordinary gramophones. They will not be for sale, but I will do my best to get for you a copy of the record containing your husband's broadcast. The process of manufacture usually takes about a couple of months; but if you do not hear from me by the middle of August, please do not hesitate to write to me again.
From. Chaplain C.
att. 14 (ind.) C.C.S. S.E.A.C.
Dear Sgt. Henschen.
...Your letter to me dated 21 April, has been much delayed by the bungling of the postal system lately. There should be a few post office bowler hats handed out.
...I replied to an inquiry in April from your C.O. about Sgt. Heywood during the time he was at 13 C.C.S. and can add very little more. I can sympathise with you in your concern: I have had more than one personal friend pass on, under my eyes in this show. I would have written to his people myself but many like matters I thought that in this case your C.O. had all my facts.
...Well Sergeant your friend came in to us in a very bad way. His left leg was amputated either at the M.D.S. or as soon as he came in by our C.C.S. It was amputated well above the knee because gas gangrene had set in. For a few days he was on the edge of things and scarcely conscious. Then the treatment he received blood transfusion etc. and penicillin rallied him and for two days he seemed to be recovering. During this time I spoke with him and he was in good form, though weak. He was able to give cheerful answers and to say he was going to see it through. You know him, and I had an impression of a strong personality, abrupt in speech and plenty of guts. After that he suddenly began to collapse and nothing that could be done could save him. As so often in bad cases gangrene- they are saved from that deadly thing only to be so weak that they succumb to pneumonia - or congestion of the lungs. He was unconscious for some considerable time before he died and I was with him almost all the time. Sister and I, and the others who attended him were very grieved at our hopes being fulfilled. He seemed such a fine plucky chap.
...You asked about this Sergeant and I have given you the account in some detail so far as I know it.
...Next day I buried him in the Hospital Military Cemetery at the cross roads at Sadaing (18 miles north of the Ava bridge at Sepaing) properly according to the Prayer Book and with the Union Jack and an Indian Burial party which gave the salute.
...The graves Registration people were going to remove the bodies from that site (there were some thirty British Troops) and re-bury them in a concentrated burial ground - but I do not know where though I will try to find out. Sgt. Heywood's people will one day be informed of the final resting place in any case.
...When I report such a burial to the bereaved family, I do not name the temporary place - but say "in a graveyard which will later be described to you by an official title and location". This saves people from being hurt by the thought that the fallen soldier is not yet finally come to rest. The phrase is fair enough: by this time your friend is buried in a permanent cemetery - it may be at Shwebo. In the last resort the Imperial War Graves Commission will have the information. Anyway you know where he is actually buried with honour, respect-in due form- at Sadaing-- and you can use that information at your own discretion.
...Your comrades had a rough time in those days - and I had to bury the 2nd i/c of the R. Berks just afterwards.
...I hope that this letter will help you to understand what happened, and give you assurance that your friend was treated all through as you would like him to have been.
...I have no means of knowing his peoples address - tho' I had sent long ago a letter to your B.H.Q. asking for it -; so please when you send to them, convey my sympathy, which you can see is very real.
...Glad to have had your letter and the chance of telling you these things.
Good wishes and God Bless,
F. J. T. David C. F.
Road to Sing U Bridgehead 19 Div - This is the Sadaing X Rds. Temporary graveyard.
X - Sgt. Heywood
O - 2i/c 2 R. Berks. [Could this be Captain C W Reynold 156538?]
To Sadaing [Irrawaddy]
Mrs Florence Heywood and daughter Patricia, at Buckingham Palace in London after being presented with Sgt. Albert Heywood's D.C.M. by HRH King George. This image portrays the pride which is etched on their faces for all to see.
The collage of memorabilia records Sgt. Heywoods Citation, along with four images of - Sgt. Heywood sporting a bush hat, enjoying his pipe, Bob baby daughter and wife, lastly Sgt. Heywood being interviewed by the BBC.
The Victor Comics:
Records the exploits, and rightly so, of Sgt. Heywood who has now paid the ultimate price for King & country and what we take for granted. 'Our freedom' for Sgt. Albert Robert Cecil Heywood like so many others of his ilk, in THE FORGOTTEN ARMY!
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Sgt. Albert Heywood
Left: Sgt. Sidney Henschen &
Sgt. Albert Heywood
Sgt. Albert Heywood &
Sgt. Sidney Henschen
Sgt. Albert Heywood
BBC interviewing Sgt. Albert Heywood
Press Cutting Sgt. Albert Heywood
Notification of the award of the
D.C.M. awarded to
Sgt. Albert Heywood
Letter regret from Col. John Hill
Letter to Sgt. Henschen from
Chaplin F. J. T. David
Temporary wooden cross
placed where Sgt. Albert Heywood
was first laid to rest
Letter from the BBC sent to
Mrs. Florence Heywood
Mrs. Florence Heywood and daughter
Patricia at Buckingham Palace after
receiving Sgt. Heywood's D.C.M.
Collage of memorabilia