Nield, Wilfred Herbert Everard

Lieutenant / Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

1891 - 1916

Wilfred Herbert Everard Nield was born 16 February 1891, the son of the Rt Hon. Sir Herbert Nield, KC., MP., DL., JP, Recorder of York, and Mary Catherine Nield.

He came to Winchester College from Stanmore Park School in Middlesex in September 1904 and was in H House, Bramston's. He was a House Prefect and showed promise as a long distance runner and also stood on Dress for XVs in 1909.

Nield left Winchester in the summer of 1910 and went up to Merton College, Oxford later that year. On leaving Oxford in 1913, he went to Germany to learn the language and then to France to prepare for the entrance examination for the Diplomatic Service; he was there when war was declared.

He returned to England and obtained a commission in the Royal Fusiliers and was promoted to Lieutenant in February 1915. He was wounded in four places in December 1915, returning to the front in May 1916.

Wilfrid was killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, and it is recorded that 'the left company were unfortunate in losing Lieutenant Nield, who was killed near the German front line'. He had managed to cross some way over No Man's Land when he had been struck by a shot which completely severed his left wrist, but he refused to go back to the dressing station. Having had his handkerchief bound round the wound, he continued to advance, until another shot struck him in the leg and made further advance impossible. He was then carried and placed with other wounded men in a deep shell hole nearby. A few moments later a 5.9inch shell burst in the hole and killed all its occupants. He was initially buried on the battlefield, but in May 1919 his body was removed to the Dantzig Alley British Cemetery at Mametz.

Three fellow Wykehamists also died in the Montauban attack that day: 2nd Lieutenant William Kirkpatrick Orford (F 1909-1913) and Lieutenant Gerald Maitland Sproat (College 1906-1912) were both in 17th (2nd City) Battalion, Manchester Regiment; Captain Charles Stanley Pearce (C 1907-1913) was serving with 8th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment.

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