Arthur Montague Field was born in 1898 to clerk Henry George and his wife Ellen. Arthur had one younger sister Eleanor, who was born in 1902. In 1911, the family were living at 74 Seymour Gardens, Ilford.
Arthur ‘Monty’ Field was an analytical chemist in the city before joining the army. He was also connected with the Sunday School and the choir at St. Andrew’s Church on The Drive, Ilford, and during the last two months of his civilian life he was the as organist at St. Margaret’s; the previous two organist had been called up to the armed forces.
Arthur enlisted with the Honourable Artillery Company and later transferred to the 4th Battalion, Leicester Regiment. He was sent to Belgium where he was reported missing in action on 22nd March 1918.
In his obituary printed in the Ilford Recorder of 12th April 1918 Arthur is described as: ‘[a] fine, vigorous typical English Lad, “Monty” Field [was] highly educated, gifted with distinctly artistic and musical tastes, and the favourite of a host of friends and acquaintances...’
A letter to Arthur’s parents from his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel G H. Sawyer, dated 19th April 1918, noted that a lot of men disappeared on that day and the company was hopeful that the men had been captured and would see out the war as prisoners. The letter concluded: ‘I trust that you will soon hear that he is safe and well, though a prisoner of war.’
This was not to be the case, and Arthur never returned home.
Research by Frances Speakman
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Ilford Recorder, 12th April 1918