Field, John William

Field, John William (Dick)


1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of wounds on Monday 20 September 1915 (aged 41)


Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, France (Grave XXI. C. 6)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)


In some records his surname is spelt Fields.

John William Field was born on 1 June 1874 in Kilnacrew, County Cavan and he was a son of Hugh and Isabella Field (nee Saunderson) whose marriage was registered in 1871 in Coothill, County Cavan.

Hugh Field was a farmer and he and Isabella had at least two children:

Robert (born 10 April 1872 in Kilnacrew)

John William (born 1 June 1874 in Kilnacrew)

John William Field enlisted on 13 June 1892 in Wexford and he served with the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in the South African War.

John William Field and Elizabeth Henry (born around 1883 in Bermuda; daughter of Sergeant Major Henry) were married on 10 December 1903 in Christchurch Parish Church of Ireland Church Belfast.  At that time, John William Field was a Colour Sergeant in the Royal Irish Rifles.

John William and Elizabeth Field (nee Henry) had at least five children:

Robert Hugh (born in Portobello Barracks, Dublin on 27 October 1906)

Isabella Sarah (born in England around 1908/1909)

Elizabeth Rae (born in Fountain Street, Downpatrick on 25 July 1910)

John William (born in Church Street, Downpatrick on 21 April 1912)

Richard (born in James Street, Newtownards on 21 June 1914)

John William Field served as a Quartermaster Sergeant and, prior to the outbreak of the Great War, he served as Regimental Sergeant Major with the 4th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Royal North Downs).  At that time the Field family lived in James Street, Newtownards.

It was reported in the Newtownards Chronicle that John William Field had over twenty years of Army service and could have remained in Newtownards during the Great War.  Instead he volunteered to serve at the Front and went to France on 1 May 1915.  He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 5 July 1915.

It was also reported that his wife Elizabeth became seriously ill and he was granted leave to come home to Holywood where she was living at Byron Villa, Kinnegar, 6 Marine Parade (she had also lived at 52 Carlisle Street, Belfast).

Captain Field returned to the Front in France and he was 41 when he died on 20 September 1915 during a night reconnaissance after being shot in the nose, head and chest.  He was buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery and is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).