FIELD, Walter James – Gresford War Memorial

Written and researched by Mavis Williams

I found Walter James Field living as a Boarder on the 1911 census, age 29, single, a Collier born in Birmingham, Warwickshire, living at Mount Alyn Cottages, Rossett, Denbighshire in the household of Thomas JONES, his wife Elen, 2 sons and one daughter.

I then found his marriage to Nellie Smith :-

Gresford Parish Church – Marriages

Page 136 No 271 13th April 1914  Walter James FIELD, 31, Bachelor, Collier, Groes Howell Hill, Gresford, father Isaac FIELD (Dec.) Paper Maker & Nellie SMITH, 24, Spinster, Llay Cahin, Gresford, father James SMITH (Dec) Carter.    After Banns.

Witnesses:- Walter BURROWS & Isabella GARDEN.

This marriage entry gave me his father, Isaac and then I asked the Army Forum for some help, as there was another Walter Field that I could follow.   I am indebted to Peter who sent this to me :-

WJ Field 8576 was born c.1882, joined the army at  about 18 and had been in France for 22 months with the 2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers when he was admitted to Hospital with a jaw abcess, No 2 Gen hospital at LeHavre on 5/7/16. Possibly transferred to the ship Asturias*. Perhaps this abscess lead to complications and death 3 days later?

Source: Forces War Records Hospital Admissions

May have died on the operating table, in which case there could be a report of a coroners inquest in the local and\or Hampshire newspapers.

Did a bit more digging on his birth and census records – the birth of a Walter James Field was registered in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1882 in the Aston District of Warwickshire. There is no clear match on the 1891 census as there are no Walter James, just two Walters of the right age recorded in the Aston District, both born Birmingham.

Moving on to the 1901 Census there is now a Walter, aged 18, and a Walter James, aged 18, who were born Birmingham.

Walter James, single, is a Stone Quarry Man, boarding at 1 Perrys Lake, Rowley Regis, Staffordshire. The head of the household is a Reuben Ingram, and both he and his grandson Edward Ingram who was living with him are also listed as Stone Quarry men, so suspect the accommodation came through work rather than family ties.

The other man, Walter, was living with his parents Thomas, (64) and Emma, (56), so it was now possible to go back and whittle down the options on the 1891 census.

The 8 year old Walter, born Birmingham, was recorded living at 27 Mount Street, Aston. Birmingham. This was the household of his parents Isaac, (aged 51, a General Labourer, born Kings Norton, Worcestershire), and Ellen, (aged 51, born Crabb Cross, Worcestershire). As well as Walter their other children living with them are Martha, (13, General Domestic Servant) and Alice, (11) – both born Birmingham. Also living with them is Isaac’s 34 year old step-son, (so presumably Ellen’s son), James Robinson, (34, single, a General Labourer, born Crabb Cross, Worcestershire).

Neither Isaac or Ellen appear to be on later censuses. A possible explanation is the death of a 56 year old Ellen Field in the January to March quarter, (Q1), of 1895 in the Aston District. I struggled to find a death of an Isaac in Warwickshire or Worcestershire of the right age before that of a 72 year old in the July to September quarter, (Q3), of 1911 in the Aston District.

I then retried the census record. On the 1901 Census of England and Wales, there is a 62 year old Isaac Field, born Birmingham, a Labourer in a Paper Mill, who was recorded as the married head of the household at 71 Mount Street, Aston. His wife is the 50 year old Mary A, born Birmingham. No one else is recorded living with them. Neither an Isaac Field born Birmingham, or a Mary A Field of the right age appears to be on earlier censuses.

A check of the marriage records turns up the marriage of an Isaac Field to a Mary Ann Moore in the October to December quarter, (Q4), of 1895 in the Aston District.

On the 1911 Census of England and Wales, a 72 year old Isaac, no employment, and born “Kings Norton Wore”, was recorded as the married head of the household at 71 Mount Street, Aston. He lives there with his wife of 15 years, Mary, aged 60 and born Birmingham. They have a boarder living with them.

So reading between the lines, looks like the family broke up following the death of mother Ellen.

The future wife of Walter is a bit of a mystery. On the 1911 census there is a 20 year old “Ellen” Smith, single and living at “Hay Chain” (or “Llay Chain”), Gresford. Born Liverpool, she is recorded as the adopted daughter of the married householders, Jesse and Agnes Guest.

It may be a co-incidence, but the birth of a Walter J Field, mothers maiden name Smith, was registered in the Wrexham District in the January to March quarter, (Q1), of 1915.


Hope that helps, Peter


— Yes it did help, in fact he has done most of my research for me – Thank you Peter.




I was sent this by Ian who had seen the thread on Gresford War Memorial and Walter James Field:-

Hi Mavis,

I hope you don’t mind me commenting on this feed. I am ex military and have been collecting all sorts of military items for a number of years. Quite a few years ago I purchased a ” Death Plaque” from a collectors shop in Swindon when I was 17. I have always been curious as to the history of the plaque and that leads me to your feeds!.

The Plaque is in the name of ” Pte. Walter James Fielding”  along with a military letter addressed to a ” Mrs N Chester..Shones Lane..Llay…Gresford…Nr. Wrexham.

I will attach photos of all items for you to see……I really hope this helps your investigations.

Let me know how you get on.

With Regards, Ian

FIELD, W.J. Death Penny
FIELD, W.J. Envelope
FIELD, W.J. Medals letter
Gresford Burials CWGC

General Hospital Ward 3 Quai DEscale Q10557

James W, Gresford (All Saints) Churchyard.

Researched and compiled by Mavis Williams with the help of the Army Forum, many thanks to them.

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