Hi David. Coming at it from an ancestral research point of view I think that the person we are looking for is the following:
Lt.-Col. Harry William Ludovic Heathcoat-Amory was born on 7 June 1870. He was the son of Sir John Heathcoat-Amory, 1st Bt. and Henrietta Mary Unwin. He married, firstly, Evelyn Mary Stanley, daughter of Edward James Stanley and Hon. Mary Dorothy Labouchere, on 1 November 1898. He married, secondly, Marjorie Una Milne, daughter of Reverend Edgar Astley Milne, on 9 April 1931. He died on 22 December 1945 at age 75.
He gained the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards. He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the 4th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry (TF). He held the office of Deputy Lieutenant (D.L.) of Somerset. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Somerset. He lived at Hele Manor, Dulverton, Somerset, England.
I have also found him in the 1901 England census where he gives his occupation as Captain, Coldstream Guards
My clue was that William's wife worked at a house in Tiverton, Devon (far away from her roots in Lancashire) which turned out to be the family home of the Heathcoat-Amory family.
That sounds plausible. I cannot find any medal roll records for him in the Coldstream Guards nor is there any war service in the 1905 Army List. He may not have been serving in the army by 1905 though. He is listed in the 1902 Army List but there is no war service listed for him. The 1902 Army list records him serving with the 2nd Volunteer Battalion. Somerset Light Infantry, from 3 July 1899.
2d Lt 5 Dec 1891. Lt 27 Jan 1897. Capt 10 July 1900.
He was in England in 1901 for the census. Have you evidence that he was in South Africa? The 1902 Army lists has a '1', '2' or '3' for officers of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions. 1st and 2nd GC served in South Africa. 3rd Battalion were at Chelsea. He is unusual in having no battalion number again his name.
Thanks for all the sharing of information and knowledge on this one - much appreciated.
Attached is an extract from the Hart's Army List for 1899 where he is recorded as being the Adjutant of the 3rd Battalion and would presumably be doing all the admin work based in the UK and that would explain his lack of any record in SA. I am guessing that he could overlap this with his responsibilities to the territorial Somersetshire LI.
Of course, it complicates my investigation as I still do not know who William Garnett was Batman to. Information received from his descendants in the UK is that he worked for the Heathcoat-Amory family on their estate in Devon and I have record that three of his children were born there. When whoever went off to war he needed a groom for his horses and William was chosen. So I still have to find out "whoever" is!
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At the end of the medal roll for the Coldstream Guards are a few men who were full-time 'civilian servants'. They were not considered fighting men and were given a bronze medal. As an Army Batman, William Garnett was foremost a soldier but with additional duties.
I did have a look for a biography of Heathcoat-Amory thinking this might mention his batman but I did not come across anything. Are there any Heathcoat-Amory family papers stored somewhere?