Private William Charles Chatfield

William Chatfield © Newdigate Local History Society
William Chatfield © Newdigate Local History Society

Thank you to John Callcut for letting us reproduce the following information, taken from his book: A Village at War. Newdigate in World War One.

William Charles Chatfield was born in the small village of Nutley on the edge of the Ashdown Forest near Uckfield in 1894 where he grew up with his brother Alfred and his sister Mabel. His father died in 1904 and his mother, Harriett Anne married William Henry Wheeler in Cuckfield two years later. They set up home in Marshalls Cottages in Maresfield where Henry (as he was known) and his stepson William worked on the local farm whilst Harriett looked after the children and her new daughter Millie. Eventually the family moved to New Barn Cottages in Seal near Farnham, but before that William and his mother came to work for Captain Palmer at Oaklands Park, Partridge Lane, Newdigate, where he became well known and respected throughout the district. William enlisted into the Queen’s at Dorking. The battalion was involved in bitter fighting from the 15th to the 22nd July 1916 around High Woodand the attack on the trench known as the German Switch during which there were 1,697 casualties.

William Chatfield Death Notice 7th October 1916
© Surrey Advertiser

Pte. Chatfield was accidentally killed on the 29th July by a bomb which he was about to throw into an enemy trench, and is buried in Dernacourt Communal Cemetery which at the time was used by the Field Ambulances. His name is also recorded on the memorial in Nutley Parish Church.

William Charles Chatfield Death Notice 23rd September 1916 © Dorking Advertiser
William Charles Chatfield Death Notice 23rd September 1916
© Dorking Advertiser
Born Nutley, West Sussex
Lived Newdigate, Surrey
Son of The late William George Chatfield and Harriett Annie Wheeler. Newdigate
Regiment 1st Battalion. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number G/7220
Date of Death 29th July 1916
Place of Death Somme, France
Cause of Death Accidentally Killed
Age 21
Cemetery Dernacourt Communal Cemetery, France

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