838961 Pte. John Heaps and 838521 Pte. George Heaps were born in Doddington, England, in 1887 and 1894 respectively, to Joseph and Sara. Emmigrating to Canada on their own initiative the young men settled in south-western Ontario.

George Heaps worked as a farmer near Dundalk in Grey County when he attested to the 147th Battalion, in Owen Sound, on January 6th, 1916. John could be found working as a farmer across the county line, living in Corbetton, in Dufferin County. Following his younger brother's example he attested to the 147th Battalion, also in Owen Sound, on March 14th, 1916.

As part of "C" Company both men would have been billeted locally over the remainder of the winter until the unit left for centralized training in the spring of 1916. The 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in May to finalize the administration and organization of the unit, just prior to their departure for Camp Niagara later that month. As the conditions in this Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June.

In September, the unit received their orders to proceed overseas. While en-route for Halifax there was an outbreak of diphtheria and they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, on November 14th 1916.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. The brothers were sent to the 4th C.M.R. in a draft of reinforcements on April 21st, 1917, while the unit was still engaged in the First Battle of Arras near Avion. They served with the unit into the summer when it entered the front line trenches near Souchez. The War Diary stipulates that during that tour the unit underwent heavy enemy artillery fire that resulted in eighteen casualties.

Twenty-nine year old John was amongst the dead when he was killed-in-action on July 13th. 838961 Pte John Robert Heaps was buried in the La Chaudiere Cemetery, located on the outskirts of the town of Vimy. The family's inscription on his headstone reads, "A TRUE LOVING, FAITHFUL SON". John's sacrifice is also remembered on Dufferin County's war memorial, located in the City of Orangeville.

George continued serving with the 4th C.M.R. until he was transferred to the Pack Pony Company in September. Returning to the unit in May of 1918, he saw service through the battles of the last 100 days and marched in the victory parade in downtown Toronto. 838521 Private George Heaps was struck off strength of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on March 30th, 1919.

Credit and many thanks go George Auer for the above biographies, as part of his 147th (Grey) Battalion project.