Henry Heath, born Harry, was born in 1919 in Penkridge in Staffordshire. His father was a farmer – dairy, beef and arable – and his mother kept chickens, geese and turkeys.

Henry was educated at King Edward VI School in Stafford, where he excelled in Chemistry, Physics and Maths. However, he left after completing his School Certificate in 1936, and with no intention of going into farming, started a three-year apprenticeship with Eymer Brothers, a Pharmacy in Stafford. He worked 5½ days a week and on Thursday afternoons, went back to school to do ‘practicals’ in the school labs. He then studied for his Higher School Cert in his spare time. This was all done by oil and candlelight because, before the war, there was no electricity of gas on his parents’ farm.