Field, Arthur Donald
Mentioned in Despatches
No. P/LD/X 4414, HMS Bredon, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Killed in action on Monday 8 February 1943 (aged 24)
No known grave
Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, England (Panel 80 Column 2)
Cotter/McDowell family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery
Arthur Donald Field’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1918 in Barnet, Middlesex and he was a son of Sidney and Henrietta Field (nee Smith). In naval records his date of birth is recorded as 25 June 1918 in Finchley, Middlesex.
Arthur Donald Field lived in North Finchley, London before he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1938 and he was stationed in Belfast prior to his marriage. He was the husband of Janette (sometimes Janet) Kathleen Field (nee McDowell) of 57 University Street, Belfast. They were married on 27 May 1942 in University Road Methodist Church, Belfast. During the Second World War, he served aboard HMS Bredon.
HMS Bredon was a Naval Trawler of the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) type. A Naval Trawler was a ship built along the lines of a fishing trawler but fitted out for naval purposes. HMS Bredon was built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd., Beverley and Hull and commissioned on 29 April 1942. Less than a year later, at around 8.00 am on 8 February 1943, HMS Bredon was torpedoed and sunk off the Canary Islands by the German submarine U-521.
Signalman Field was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches for his bravery and devotion to duty after the ship had been torpedoed: ‘Though the order to abandon ship had been given, Signalman Field remained on the bridge in an attempt to attract attention with his night-signalling lamp. Heedless of the danger of the fast-sinking ship, he made no endeavour to save his own life while there was a chance of getting a signal through and he was still engaged in this gallant act when HMS Bredon sank and he went down with the ship’. His effects amounted to some £187 and probate was granted to his widow.
Signalman Arthur Donald Field (No. P/LD/X 4414) is commemorated on the Cotter/McDowell family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery, Co. Down – along with his brother-in-law, Ordinary Seaman Alfred George McDowell. On the gravestone they are both described as grandsons of Margaret Cotter McDowell. Arthur Donald Field was 24 when he died.