WYNDHAM, Heathcote

Heathcote, born in 1873 at Bukkulla, was the seventh child and second son of Hugh and Celia Wyndham. He grew up at Bukkulla, north of Inverell, and was later educated at Armidale Grammar School. In 1907 he joined the New England Light Horse and became a Second Lieutenant. He also served as a Shire Councillor with Ashford Shire Council for some years.

From September 1914 he was in charge of the Bukkulla/Dinton Vale troop. In March 1916, at the age of forty two, he applied for a Commission with the AIF. The Inverell Times, 10 March 1916, reported that he was given a public farewell at Inverell Council Chambers when the Mayor presented him with ‘a wrist watch on behalf of Ashford Citizens and Shire Councillors.’

Heathcote sailed from Australia with the 38th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement on HMAT A24 Benalla in November 1916, arriving in England in early January 1917. During the latter part of the voyage he became ill and was hospitalised at Devonport with measles and mumps. After several months of training, he went to France with the Battalion at the end of June. Lieutenant Wyndham was Killed in Action on 17 July 1917 and buried at Kandahar Farm Cemetery, near Messines, Belgium.

Lieutenant Wyndham’s name is inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll and Cenotaph as well as The Inverell Club Honour Roll. In 1919 he was one of the men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade, Inverell.  For many years his photograph was displayed on the walls of the Inverell Club of which he was a valued member.

Heathcote had married in 1903 and had one son. His personal effects were returned to his wife and included a wallet, prayer book, silver matchbox, trinket box with gold cuff links, spirit flask and two small boxes of drawing instruments.

Photo: Lieutenant Heathcote Wyndham, Courtesy Australian War Memorial, Image PO5031.126