Appeal for info on Bromsgrove's First World War soldiers

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 19 February 2014 Updated: 23/02 23:32

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AN APPEAL has been launched in a bid to find out information about soldiers from in Bromsgrove who fought in the First World War.

Sue Smith contacted The Standard about the sons of Alice and Henry Field who lived in Yarnold Lane, Bournheath. She had 12 children and five of them fought in the conflict referred to as The Great War.

William Henry Ernest Field, who was a glassblower, was born in Fairfield in 1884. He was the first to enlist and joined the 3rd battalion Worcestershire Regiment at the age of 30. Three years later, in 1917, his battalion was involved in the Battle of Messines and he was among the casualties counted on June 7 with his cause of death listed as 'Theatre of War - France and Flanders'. The battalion lost a third of its soldiers in that battle. William was survived by his wife and two very small children - Nellie and Ernest, who was born after his father's death.

He has no known grave, but is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. Sue went to Ypres with her

family and placed a red poppy next to William's name on the list.

Charles Arthur Field, who was born in Fairfield in 1889, joined the 4th battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. He died at the age of 25 on September 1, 1915 and is commemorated in Catshill Cemetery in Bromsgrove.

Walter Edward Field was born in Bournheath in 1891 and joined the 2nd battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment. He died in the conflict on March 7, 1915, from wounds he sustained in battle. He was 24 and is commemorated in Bethune Town Cemetery in France.

Harry Field, who was a coachman before the war and joined the Royal Artliery as a driver, was born in Bournheath in 1897. He survived the war, but became very ill with malaria and the death of his brothers clearly put a large amount of strain on him.

George Lionel, born in Bournheath in 1899, joined the Worcestershire Regiment when he was just 18.

It is unclear what happened to Harry and George after the war but it is thought they could have moved from the area.

Sue said the First World War had always been of interest to her as her grandfather served during the conflict.

And then Sue, who has been researching geneaology since 1986, found out about the sons of Alice and Henry who were her husband's grandmother's cousins.

She has gleaned information from medical records available in the national archive, census listings, online military data and parish records.

"I'm hoping there will be family members out there who will read this and be able to come forward and fill in the gaps," she said.

Once she has finished her research, she will be submitting it to the Imperial War Museum which is currently appealing for information on those serving in the First World War.

Any information on the serving soldiers can email the information to editor@bromsgrovestandard.co.uk and we will pass it onto Sue.

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Buy photos» Alice and Henry Field. s

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Buy photos» Walter Field's grave at Bethune Town Cemetery. s

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Buy photos» A red poppy was placed next to William's name on the list at Ypres by Sue's family. s

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