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20th May, 2022

Remembering a Redditch soldier buried a long way from home

A SOLDIER from Redditch lies buried in a cemetery a long way from the Worcestershire town.

James Allen Field was killed on May 4, 1918, 100 years ago this week, serving in the line on the Western Front.

He was born in 1899, the only child of Robert and Caroline Field and the family lived at Caxton Villa, 74 Bromsgrove Road, later moving to 30 Beoley Road.

James’s father worked as a printer overseer in a machine department.

During the war, he served as a private with one of the country’s greatest regiments, the Royal Fusiliers, serving with the 17th (Service) Battalion.

His unit, part of the 6th Brigade, had been in reserve when the Germans launched their Spring Offensive in March 1918 but quickly found itself in the thick of the action as the attack drove the British back.

By the end of April, the Germans, exhausted, short of supplies and men, had run out of steam as the British and French began to push back.

It is not known how James died but it could well have been in a ‘routine’ information gathering patrol or through shellfire. He was just 19 years old.

What is known is that he is buried in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery just west of the French city of Lens.

He is remembered today in Redditch on the War Memorial at Trinity High School and on the War Memorial at St Stephen’s Church.

With thanks to:

Remembering Redditch’s Fallen Heroes;; The Royal Fusiliers in the Great War

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