James Field


James Field


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment
2nd Bn.


British War and Victory medals


Panel 9.


>Not Researched

UK Memorials

Watford Borough Roll of Honour, St Mary's Parish Church Memorial, Watford, Wesleyan Methodist (now Bushey & Oxhey) Church Memorial, Oxhey, St. Matthew’s Church Memorial Oxhey, John Dickinson & Co Memorial, Croxley Green

Pre War

Born in Watford registration district in the last quarter of 1899, James Field was the son of George and Kate Harriet (née Allen) Field, both from established Bushey families. His parents were married on 10 January 1891 at St James’ Church, Bushey and made their first home at Carlton Place, London Road, Bushey.

His father was a commercial clerk, who later worked for the London and North Western Railway and his mother was a dressmaker. They had eight children, three of whom died in childhood.

By the time of the 1901 Census, the family had moved to 121, Pinner Road, Watford which became their family home for many years. Their children living there were; Katie (aged 8), Maud (aged 4) and James (aged 1). His older brother George, aged 9, was not with his parents but living with his uncle and aunt, James and Jane Field, at 108 Villiers Road, Bushey.

On the 1911 Census, the family was still living at 121, Pinner Road, Watford and James, now aged 11 and still at school, had four siblings; George (Jnr.), who had now moved back with the family, Katie (18), Maud (14) and Percy (1).

George died 1932 in Watford aged 66, and was buried 29 December in Vicarage Road Cemetery, Watford; Kate died 1949 in Watford aged 83, and was buried 13 May, also in Vicarage Road Cemetery.

Wartime Service

When war broke out James enlisted at Hertford as Private 38761 with the East Surrey Regiment, later transferring as Private 28170 with the 2nd Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment. He served in France and Flanders and was killed in action on 21 October 1918.

On 19th October the 2nd Wiltshires were in the front line near St Aubert east of Cambrai. On 20th October they attacked the retreating Germans, managing to advance about 1000 yards but with casualties of 3 officers and 119 men. On 21st October one platoon was attacked by the Germans, who were quickly driven off, but 1 officer and 2 men were killed.

He is remembered with honour at Vis-En-Artois Memorial in France, along with 9,000 others who died in the advance to victory from August 1918. He is commemorated at Bushey and Oxhey Methodist Church and on the memorial at St Matthew’s Church, Oxhey, with his elder brother, who died in 1916.

There is a Death announcement for James in the West Herts and Watford Observer dated 16 November 1918.

He was entitled to the Victory and British War Medals.

Additional Information

There is a Death announcement for James in the West Herts and Watford Observer dated 16 November 1918. Has a entry in the National Roll of the Great War. His brother George died 1 August 1916 and also features on Watford Borough Roll of Honour. Unfortunately, James’ Service Record appears to be one that did not survive the World War Two bombing.


Andrew Palmer
Brian Thomson, Sue Carter (Research) and Watford Museum (ROH on line via www.ourwatfordhistory.org.uk)