|Collection type||Private Record|
|Measurement||1 wallet: 1 cm|
Heathcote, Ernest John Clinton
|Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room.||AWM371 89/1481|
First World War, 1914-1918
|Copying Provisions||Copying permitted subject to physical condition|
Heathcote, Ernest John (Alias Frederick M Whatson)
Collection relating to the North Russia Intervention service of 193042 Private Ernest John Heathcote (enlisted as Frederick Manning Whatson), 201 Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, North Russian Relief Force, France, England and Russia, 1916-1969.
Collection contains the memoirs of 193042 Private Ernest John Heathcote (enlisted as Frederick Manning Whatson), 201 Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, North Russian Relief Force. This handwritten account, titled ‘Aussies in North Russia’, covers the formation of the North Russia Relief Force in 1919 to extract the North Russia Expeditionary Force, the reception of Australian troops to the idea of volunteering for the Force, and the formation of an Australian machine gun section for the Force. After arriving in Arkhangel in June 1919, Heathcote writes of his service with a colonial machine gun section that also consisted of Canadians and South Africans. He notes that English authorities have exaggerated the situation in Russia, and writes of joining the 201st Battalion, Machine Gun Corps, at Ossinova. Heathcote recalls engaging in drills and training that almost caused the men to mutiny, and records weather and light conditions. He writes of Bolshevik prisoners who were recruited to fight, and the details of an attack on 10 August 1919 that he took part in which involved attacking Bolshevik forces in the left bank of the river Dvina, suffering significant injuries and wounds. He provides his personal reflections and criticisms of the campaign in North Russia and includes Lieutenant Colonel John Sherwood-Kelly’s public criticisms.
The collection also includes related personal papers and official correspondence documenting his transfer from the AIF to the Royal Fusiliers and demobilisation.
58180 Private Ernest John Heathcote (as Frederick Manning Whatson) served in 9 Battalion, Australian Imperial Force prior to transfer to the North Russian Relief Force.