Thursday, October 23, 2014

98183 Pte Harry Chatfield, Machine Gun Corps

Harry Chatfield was probably born around March 1891 as the census return for that year records him as “infant Chatfield aged under one month”. 

He was the second eldest son of Alfred and Mary Chatfield and at the time the 1901 census appears, was living with his family at Newick.  The household comprised Alfred Chatfield (aged 42, head of the family, born at Fletching and working as a domestic gardener), his wife Mary (aged 42, born in Newick) and their six children: Mabel Chatfield (aged 14, born Fletching), Emily Chatfield (aged 13, born Fletching), Harry (aged ten, born Uckfield), Frank Chatfield (aged eight, born Fletching), John Chatfield (aged four) and Thomas Chatfield (aged two, born Newick). 

There were other children as well.  The 1891 census shows the family living at Church Street, Uckfield.  Alfred Chatfield (aged eight, born at Fletching) and Alice Mary Chatfield (aged six, born at Fletching) had obviously left the family home by the time the 1901 census was taken.   

Chailey Parish Magazine first notes Harry Chatfield in a military context in February 1917 when it reports that Private H Chatfield is serving as a private with the 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment.  It had however previously reported his marriage, on 9th June 1915, to Maude Alice Waterman.

In January 1918 the parish magazine notes that he is serving with the Machine Gun Corps and records his rank (incorrectly) as gunner.  In October 1918 it notes that he has been wounded and this information is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919. 

Three of HarryFrank's brothers – Frank Chatfield, John Chatfield and Thomas Chatfield – also served their King and Country during the First World War.
Medal index card courtesy of Ancestry.

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