Lance Corporal, 242012, 2/6th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment
(previously 2253 Royal Sussex Regiment)
Killed in Action at Fromelles, Pas de Calais, France, 19 July 1916, aged about 19
No known grave. Commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Panel 22-5

Edward Fielder

Edward Cecil Fielder was the fifth child of Ann (née Hooker) and William Fielder. Like his elder brother Frederick, he was born at Plaxtol in Kent, in Wrotham parish. His birth was registered in 1897 but he was not baptised until 1902, at the same time as his sister Marguerite. His father worked on the land, rising by 1911 to be a farm bailiff. In 1901 Edward was living with his family at Old Soar Cottages in Plaxtol and in 1911, recorded as Cecil, he was still at home, which by now was Springfield Cottages in nearby Shipbourne. Now aged 14 he was enumerated as a farm labourer. Presumably he moved to Perry Hill in Hartfield when his family did so sometime between 1911 and 1914.

He enlisted in Hastings, and was presumably posted to the Royal Sussex Regiment. He seems to have given his address as Bolebrook, which is in Hartfield and very close to Perry Hill, so the two places could be the same. At some point he was transferred to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which landed in France on 21 May 1916, and was killed in action less than two months later on 19 July 1916. He was killed near Pheasant Wood, Fromelles, Pas de Calais, France, aged 19. He has no known grave although his name appears on the memorial at Loos-en-Gohelle, Département du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France; he is also commemorated on both Plaxtol and Hartfield memorials.

Lance Corporal Edward Fielder's inscription
on the Loos Memorial (bottom row)
(Click to enlarge)

The War Office Daily list, dated 14 October 1917, baldly states:

Casualty listed as: Previously missing, now reported killed

and gives his next of kin address simply as Hartfield.

Judging by the place and date of his death, Edward took part in the Battle of Fromelles, a subsidiary attack of the Battle of the Somme. According to Wikipedia, preparations for the attack were rushed, and the troops inexperienced in trench warfare. In addition the German defence was seriously underestimated.

His death was a second blow to his family, as his brother Frederick had been killed in action about three weeks earlier. Their mother Ann appears as Edward's sole legatee in the register of soldiers' effects. A third brother, Sidney, fought in France and was wounded in the shoulder and leg in August 1917, losing an arm as a result. However, this did not appear to deter him in later life as, on the 1939 register he is listed in Uckfeld as a 'farm labourer, heavy work'.

Pam Griffiths