Former newspaper man saw action in two wars

Ernest Heath leads the column of men on the left

Ernest Heath leads the column of men on the left

Whatever happened to The Swans?

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Ken Heath is 89 and lives in Lincolnshire, but still reads The News, especially Remember When, daily at portsmouth.co.uk.

It must be in his blood because his father Ernest Heath worked for the then Evening News all his working life.

Ernest Heath at the linotype machine

Ernest Heath at the linotype machine

Apart from service in the First World War, Ernest served this newspaper from 1911 until 1962 when he retired as the composing room overseer.

Ken has inherited his father’s photograph albums and wanted to share them with readers because, as he said, ‘no doubt the photos will disappear after I am gone’.

Ernest is seen here about 1929 at one of the paper’s many linotype typesetting machines.

He served in the 15th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, which was raised by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, and appears in the formal picture third from the left in the middle row.

Ken said it was taken during training at Aldershot before they were despatched to the trenches in 1916.

Ernest was in the Home Guard during the Second World War and in the photograph, which looks as though it was taken in Edinburgh Road, he is leading his men all wearing tin helmets. They were part of the 17th Battalion Hampshire Regiment Home Guard.

In the other parade picture Ernest, in the field service cap, is leading the left hand column of men. The man at the front, leading the parade overall, is W Gates the son of an editor of the Evening News.

Further pictures from Ken collection will appear in coming weeks.

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