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  • Photo of Harold Waterfeild first published in the Retford Times 20/08/15
Person Details
Retford, Nottinghamshire
In 1891 Eliza Waterfield was working as a 15 year old servant and housemaid. She moved to Retford where her son Harold was born in 1896. Four years later she married at local Retford man, Alfred Turner. He earned his living as a fellmonger (dealer in hides and skins) and lived at 62 Moorgate in Retford. By 1911 the couple had two children, Harace born 1906 and Reginald in 1910. By now 14 year old Harold was working with his stepfather in the fellmonger business.
23 Jul 1915
600535 - CWGC Website
6th Bn Lincolnshire Regiment
Pte Harold Waterfield Retford Times 13 August 1915 The sad news was received in Retford on Friday on the death of Pte Harold Waterfield of the 6th Lincolnshire Regt who was accidently drowned at the Dardanelles on Friday July 23rd. The information was sent by a comrade named Pte Leonard Vallance whose home is on the Albert Road, Retford, that whilst bathing, Pte Waterfield, got out of his depth, and despite the efforts of friends, was drowned. The greatest sympathy is felt for the members of their family in their sad bereavement. The deceased soldier was a butcher by trade and joined the colours at Retford at the opening of the war. He was 18 years of age and was held in much esteem by a wide circle of friends. He passed through the West Retford Baptist Sunday School and before leaving Retford fo Lincoln held the office of registrar. His last visit to Retford was in June. The circumstances of the accident are given as under, by Pte Vallance, “It is with the greatest sorrow and regret that I have to write to tell you that Harold was drowned whilst bathing in the sea today (23 July). There was four of us together and neither of us could swim. We did our best to save him. I went under twice myself. We all miss him very much as he had a happy way of keeping us in good spirits, and to me personally, his loss will be very great. By his death I lose my best friend. His comrades all wish me to express to you their deepest sympathy in your great sorrow. All his personal belongings will be sent to you by the War Office.” A letter was also received from the Lieutenant of the Company in which the deceased served, informing the mother of her son’s death and expressing deep sympathy in her loss. He forwarded the deceased’s pocket book and a few personal belongings. He stated that the body was buried on the island by the Chaplain and that a wooden cross is to be erected. The lieutenant, on hearing of the accident went for a doctor, but on his arrival, life was extinct Harold Waterfield was attested on the 1 Sept 1914 and joined the 6 Bn Lincolns. He was drafted with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on the 1 July 1915 to the Dardanelles. On the 23rd July 1915, Harold with others were bathing in the sea at Lemnos Island where they were stationed prior to the Suvla Bay landings, when he was reported to have accidentally drowned. A Court of Enquiry was ordered ( the final outcome unknown) but attached below are some of the surviving witness statements. F S Cannell, Capt. 26/12/1916:- Waterfield was drown while attending a compulsory bathing parade. I was not at ??? at the time. Lt Webber killed in action 7/8/15was in command of the reinforcements at the time. I was at Hellas with the rest of the Battalion. The other officers who were left behind are also killed. A Court of Enquiry was held but most of the Regimental documents were lost during the days immediately following the landing at Suvla Bay. Might I suggest that Rev Warburton C F be asked if he remembers the case. 9497 CSM Woods states:- On July 23rd 1915 I was in the trenches at Achi Baba with the 6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment. No. 10679 Pte Waterfield “C” Company of which I was CSM was with the detail at Lemnos having been left behind ?. On returning from the trenches, Sgt Allsop of the 6th Battalion said to me that Pte Waterfield had been drowned while bathing in the sea. The body was recovered and buried at Lemnos. G W Woods:- I do not remember any of the names of the witnesses of the accident but four other men were bathing with him. Sergt Cocking was the C.S.M. of the details at the time and C.Q.M.S. Holbury was with the details. A casualty form – Active service is on record stating that Pte Harold Waterfield was accidentally drowned at Lemnos on 23 July1915, dated 7/8/1915 He is now buried in the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Gallipoli
CWG additional information:- Son of Eliza Turner, of 62, Moorgate, Retford, Notts. Research by Colin Dannatt
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  • Photo of Harold Waterfeild first published in the Retford Times 20/08/15
    Harold Waterfield - Photo of Harold Waterfeild first published in the Retford Times 20/08/15