Private Horace Heinrich Dienstbach HEINTZ

Durham Light Infantry
(Formerly Derbyshire Yeomanry)
"D" Company, 14th Battalion
Service Number:
(Formerly 2832 Derbyshire Yeomanry)
Date of Death:
8 April 1917 - Killed in Action
Cemetery / Memorial:
Grave Reference:
I. N. 40.

Personal History:
Horace was born in the March quarter 1897, the son of Johann Heinrich (Hotel Cook) [later 'John Henry'] and Lizzie (née Harris) Heintz (married 2nd July 1894 in Hastings, Sussex). Horace had an older sister, Johanna Georgina, and a younger brother, Karl Hugo, who died of gastro-enteritis on the 31st October 1898, aged about 3 months.
Shortly after their marriage the couple had moved to Buxton, to 21 South Street, and Henry was employed as a chef at The Palace Hotel, and it was there that their children were born. In 1901 (Census RG 13/3269) Horace, his father and sister lived at 1 Hardwick Square, Buxton, although mother, Lizzie, was not present. She had left the family and moved to Liverpool, and gave birth to another son, later in that year, named Reginald Lloyd Hudson. Although still married to Horace's father, Lizzie now called herself Lizzie Hudson and lived with the boy's father, Francis Hudson. Lizzie's sister, Annie Harris, now lived as 'Housekeeper' to Henry and his three children in Hardwick Square.

By 1911 (Census RG 14/21236) Horace was living and working, as a "Page", at the Union Club, Buxton. In the same Census (RG 14/34319) Horace's father seems to working as a "Hotel Chef" at St David's Hotel, Harlech, Merioneth. Sister, Georgina, was employed as a "Dressmaker's Apprentice", lodging in Buxton. After the War the family address was recorded by the CWGC as Hawthorne Cottage, Dodford, Bromsgrove, Worcs. The Buxton Advertiser, 5th May 1917, stated that Horace had lived at Chelmorten, and worked for Mr Mycock of Flagg, Derbyshire. Horace's father, Henry, had moved to St. David's Hotel, Harlech, Wales to work as a chef.

(N.B. Along with Horace, James Millward was also working at the Union Club in 1911. He was killed in action two weeks before Horace - see Footnote below.)

Military History:
Horace enlisted initially into The Derbyshire Yeomanry at Derby. When reporting his death on 'The Buxton Advertiser', 28th April 1917, confirmed that Horace had enlisted in August 1915. His Service Papers have not survived but his Medal Index Card indicates that he was posted to France after 1915, as he was not eligible for the 1915 Star Medal. His original Service Number, 2832, suggests an enlistment date of 25th August 1915 and probably being embodied in 2/1st or 3/1st Battalion. (By comparing with other Derbyshire Yeomanry men with adjacent Service Numbers.)

Again, without Horace's Service record it is impossible to determine when he transferred to the Durham Light Infantry, but the same source, 'The Buxton Advertiser', gave his date of entry into France with the D.L.I. as "September 1916". It seems likely that he was part of a draft of 180 men transferred from the Yeomanry to the 14th Battalion, D.L.I., via the 6th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.

The 14th (Service) Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry had been formed at Newcastle in September 1914 as part of K3 (Kitchener's Third New Army) and became part of 64th Brigade in 21st Division. It had originally landed at Boulogne on the 11th September 1915 and on the 28th November 1915 transferred to 18th Brigade in 6th Division.

During the Battle of the Somme in 1916 the 6th Division attacked the German fortification known as the Quadrilateral which it captured on 18th September. It is quite possible that Horace transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and was posted to France as a replacement for the 130 killed during these actions. The Battalion then participated in the attacks on Morval and Le Transloy before being withdrawn on the 20th October and moved into Corps Reserve. In November the division moved to the relatively quiet La Bassée sector, and in March 1917 it went to the Loos sector where it conducted operations and trench raids around Hill 70.

The 14th Battalion moved back into the front line on the 6th December 1916, just south of the La Bassée canal, to relieve the 1st West Yorkshires. Until the middle of February 1917 the Battalion were in and out of the line in that area. By early March they were back in the reserve trenches in the Loos salient. Two further tours in the front line followed before the battalion went into divisional reserve at Mazingarbe.

In preparation for the Battle of Arras, (9th April - 16th May 1917), Horace's Battalion were working in the
"Village" Line, BIS Sector, from the 1st to 11th April, and went into the trenches on the 5th April. The
Battalion did not take part in the Battle of Arras. Their Division had been holding the Hulluch sector, with
their brigade holding the Puits 14bis subsector (north east of Loos-en-Gohelle) for some weeks, rotating
in and out of the line with the 11th Essex Regiment. No major engagement went on there at this time,
but there was frequent shell fire (as suggested by the war diary, below) and the occasional trench raid.

Horace was killed in action on the 8th April and, according to the SDGW database, was the only man of his
Battalion killed that day, 5 more were killed or died of wounds on the 10th. The most likely cause of
Horace's death, therefore, would be from sniper or shell fire.

The Battalion War Diary for the days around Horace's death supports this view:

6/4/17 - A few 77s on front & support lines. T.M.s and Aerial Darts ------- on our front lines during night & day.
Casualties: 1 wounded.

7/4/17 - A few 77s and 5.9s on front & support lines & HOLLY LANE. T.M.s on BOYAU 71 & HOLLY LANE. Aerial Darts on front & support lines.
Patrols out during the night drew enemy S.O.S. barrage. M.Gs active.
Casualties: 1  O.R. wounded.

8/4/17 - T.Ms active on our front and support lines during night & day. M.Gs active.  During night enemy put barrage on our front and support lines at the moment our artillery opened for 2 D.L.I. raid on our right.
Casualties: 4 Killed, 11 wounded.
Lieut. E.M. Carter proceeded to England to Indian Army.  [see below]

9/4/17 - 77s and 5.9s on front & support lines. T.M.s and Aerial Darts active. Snipers and M.Gs active during the night.
Casualties: 1 wounded."

There is no CWGC record to support the "4 Killed" note in the War Diary, although three men of the 14th Battalion were killed in action the following day, the 9th. They are buried with Horace in the Philosophe British Cemetery at Mazingarbe.


In a letter to Horace's sister, Georgina (Lacey), dated 14th April 1917, the Battalion Chaplain wrote that he had found her address from a letter in Horace's pocket. He obviously expressed his sympathy and added: "You will be glad to know your brother received a decent burial. I buried him in a little British Cemetery not far from where he fell; he is surrounded by other brave lads of his and other regiments. The regiment have erected a suitable cross on his grave painted with his name, rank, etc., and the short but honourable words 'Killed in Action 8/6/17' ..."

· This Officer is probably (later) Capt. Edward Maurice CARTER, 11th King Edward's Own Lancers (Probyn's Horse),
   who died on 11 August 1920 and is buried in Baghdad North Gate Cemetery.

· Private James MILLWARD worked with Horace at the Union Club and was killed in action two weeks before him, on
  24 March 1917, serving with the Essex Regiment.

· 'The Buxton Advertiser' - 28 April and 5 May 1917
· I am grateful to Steve ("Ponte Fractus"), via the Great War Forum, for the photo of Horace's grave
· I am grateful also to Mike Briggs for the photo of Horace's Memorial in Chelmorten Church.
· ..... and to Chris Baker and 'Croonaert', via the Great War Forum, for the War Diary and Map extracts

Commemorated on:
Memorial in Chelmorten Church, Derbyshire
Link to CWGC Record
Philosophe British Cemetery
Pt Horace Heintz
Horace's Memorial in Chelmorten Parish Church
Horace's Memorial in Chelmorten Parish Church
Trench Positions - March 1917
Horace's Battalion Trench Positions - March 1917
..... about the 14th Battalion, D.L.I.