18053 Bombardier Brian Esbert Baddeley Heenan - NZ Field Artillery

Brian Esbert Baddeley Heenan was born in Whakatane on 26th September 1891 the second son of
Maude Baddeley (nee Dyer) and George Charles John Heenan[i].

George had been born in 1855 in Bhaugulpore, Bengal, India[ii]  but raised in Ireland and then went to school in England. George arrived in New Zealand in 1880 and was employed as a teacher in Patea, Thames in 1882. George moved to Wellington where in 1884 when he married Maude Baddeley Dyer the daughter of Mr H Hardwicke Dyer who had been Head Master at Patea District School. Maude  was, through her mother’s line, grand-daughter of
Major General Baddeley[iii].

In 1904 Brian Esbert Heenan was registered in the first class at Plimmerton School. It is possible that the 13 year old was
a ‘summer pupil.’ Plimmerton was a popular summer beach holiday destination and if the vacation was long then school pupils went to the local school.

By 1907 the family had moved to Opunake, Taranaki where George continued teaching up to 1910,  George then left the family and moved to the Westcoast, New Zealand. Maude moved back to Wellington, to her father’s house, it is likely that Brian came with her. Brian’s older brother Garth Eric Vaughan Heenan had left New Zealand by this stage to work in the Pacific Islands.
Brian started work in a bank and in 1916 both Brian and his mother were living in Hamilton where Brian was a employed
as a bank clerk by the Bank of New Zealand[iv].

Brian enlisted in Hamilton and was selected to serve in the NZ Field Artillery. Brian’s military papers noted he had served
3 years in D Battery, Wellington before going to Hamilton where he was serving with G Battery, NZFA.
18053 Corporal Heenan entered Featherston Camp on 2nd June 1916 as a member of the 21st Reinforcements, NZFA. Corporal Heenan was promoted to Temporary Sergeant on 20th July 1916 and prior to sailing for England to Temporary Battery Sergeant Major on 14th January 1917. In England T/BSM Heenan reverted to T/Sergeant Heenan.

Following training and prior to going to France on 3rd September 1917  T/Sergeant Heenan reverted to Gunner Heenan.
In France Gunner Heenan was with the 15th Battery, 1st Brigade during the Battle of Passchendaele where he was wounded on 19th October 1917. Gunner Heenan was evacuated to England with a “gunshot wound to the scrotum – severe” possible a shrapnel wound from German counter bombardment.  

Gunner Heenan returned to France in April 1918 posted to the 1st Battery, 1st Brigade remaining with the unit through
to the end of the war. Gunner Heenan was promoted to Bombardier during the wait for repatriation to New Zealand.
Bombardier Heenan left England on the 5th April 1919 arriving back in New Zealand on 29th May 1919 when he was
given a month’s leave finally being discharged on 25th June 1919 “on termination of his period of engagement.”
Brian Ebert Baddeley Heenan was entitled to a pension 10/- pension for his injuries suffered at Passchendaele.

Brian initially returned to a Wellington address but by 1924 had moved to Orongo, Turua, Hauraki Plains[v] where his medals were sent. Brian married Mary Nora Hamilton 1930 and the couple had a least one child, a daughter, born in 1930[vi].

Brian Esbert Baddeley Heenan died on 29th April 1954 his death reported to the NZ Defense Department by his widow
Mrs M N Heenan, Hauraki Plains, Thames. 

Brain’s father George moved to the South Island and had a son to Annie Stanley later the couple and baby Patrick Vaughan Stanley left New Zealand going to Burma where George died in 1913.  Annie and her son Patrick took the name Heenan finally returning to England. Patrick joined the Indian Army and as 547/AI Captain Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan, 16th Punjab Regiment was convicted of spying for Japan during the Second World War – see Wikipedia for details.   “The Traitor of Singapore.”

Plimmerton School 1904 – 1979 (Enrolments)
Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files
Cricco (Player info)

NZFA  Howitzer team on the move France 1917: Royal RSA Collection

[i] NZ BDM
[ii] Cricket Info
[iii] Obituary H H Dyer, 16th August 1913
[iv] 18053 Bombardier Brian Esbert Baddeley Heenan
[v] Engagement, 30th December 1927, NZ Herald
[vi] Births, 30th December 1930, NZ Herald
NZFA Howitzer team on the move France 1917