In Memoriam Jack Field

A good friend Jack Field passed away yesterday Friday 13th Aug 2010 , he was 96 and was the President of Warminster History Society & Dewey Museum . I was lucky to have met and worked with Jack as history society secretary at the museum and going on little trips with him to Cley hill as well as Danebury Hillfort , the Iron Age was one of Jacks passions and you can see why ,being as Warminster is surrounded by Hillforts , He was curious of his surroundings and had a gentle disposition ,and would go to great lengths to help you with any query , he also grew and bottled lovely pickled shallots !
I had many chats with him during our ” cuppa ” breaks at museum or sitting on Cley Hill where he spent many happy days in the past, I will pass on a flavour of our little chats below.

He was born on 6th October 1914 to Joseph Alexander Field & Dora Mary Gerrish at Malthouse Farm , Ashton Common.
Named ” Ronald John French Field ”
His father was born in Limington near Ilchester, and came from farming stock ,farriers & blacksmiths. His father served in the Royal Horse Artillery in India ,France during the Great War. His mother was born in Steeple Ashton .
Joseph & Dora met at the RHA barracks in Trowbridge & married in 1910/11

The family moved to Corsley Lane End, Corsley in 1916 living in end cottage and Jack attended Corsley School where Rennee Pickford Steer’s father was the headmaster.
Jack’s father Joseph got his first 1 week leave from First World War trenches in april 1916 and they dug the garden and planted potatoes in drill holes ( which jack took great joy in removing !! being a child )

The family left Corsley in 1919, Jack aged 5 to live at number 2 Boreham ( 2nd cottage of 4 from left coming up Boreham rd past Yew Tree PH), Warminster.

” Buttons ” moved them in a ” pantechnican ” and they received the stamped postcard notification 1 hour before men arrived arrived to pack the lorry .

During the 1920’s Jack was good enough to be in St Johns choir , Johhny Carr was the choirmaster and a wonderful organist .
On sundays Johnny would turn up for evensong early at 6pm to play some classical tunes on church organ and people would turn up early before 6:30pm just to listen , his music was adored and won many competitions.
Jack’s voice eventually broke and could no longer be in choir so he pumped the organ for Johnny , this involved Jack standing to one side pumping on lever until the weight dropped down , then as weight rose up with air used by organ Jack would pump to keep air level correct , if pumping was mistimed a groan would come out of the organ .
He went on to join the RAF as an apprentice number 564633 and during World War 2 he served with the Royal Artillery( Ack Ack ) number 1624639.

Post war saw Jack working with Jack Harraway on ” Astro Turf ” the very first franchise in UK , travelling far and wide to measure up and lay this new product , even laying it on a yacht !!

Jack eventually becam an Accountant for Wheelers Seeds and was a member of Warminster Rotary & Warminster Cricket Club.

He was passionate about local history old and new and worked at the Warminster History Society & Dewey Museum up until he became ill very recently aged 96, he never stopped encouraging people young and old to look around Warminster at the wealth of culture and history that was his playground and passion.

Jacks funeral is family only but a service to celebrate his life will be held at St Johns in Boreham Road at 2.30pm

Followed by refreshments at the Conservative club nearby.

Last wish …..His Ashes be scattered on Cley Hill .

RIP Jack Field 1914-2010

Bye Bye Jack

Keith Rattray

  1. David Jordan Hawkins

    Jack Field will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him at the dewey museum and beyond (including myself). Although I only knew Jack myself during his twilight years, he was always good to me and we would often chat for ages about all sorts of stuff during those early mornings at the museum when it would be ages before anyone else would show up.

    I always looked up to Jack, and having never known my own grandfather, he helped me in ways i didn’t ever think possible.

    Farewell Jack, we’ll miss you.

  2. Christine Sturt

    Jack was my Grandad. He was an amazing inspiration to all the family, so much so that we named our first son after him, although Jack wasn’t actually Grandad’s real name! Grandad knew so much about everything and his love of history inspired me to study this subject, first at A level and later at university. Grandad was there on the day I graduated from Oxford with a First class degree, and it was so special he could be there. Despite having this qualification, I feel quite sure his knowledge always will always far surpass mine. He had such an incredible memory and intellect. We all feel bereft that he is gone from this world, taking all that kindness and gentleness with him. Dear Grundig, you were never be forgotten.

  3. Jill Havelock-Stevens

    I am Jack’s daughter and I very much appreciate the lovely things that are being said about him. He lived a long and happy life. He put a lot into it and reaped his rewards! We shall all miss him very very much. What a wonderful influence he was.

  4. Jack was a wonderfully knowledgable, inspirational and kind man; but more than this, he was a very dear friend who shall be muched missed.

    I first met Jack as a fourteen year old when I was placed at the Dewey Museum for my work experience. A shared love of all things historical and coffee at 11am was the foundation of a lasting friendship; we loved nothing better than a good exploration of the past over drinks and biscuits – he provided the coffee, I the snacks! His love for life was infectious and I shall miss our Saturday mornings together.

    I believe it is a rare quality that allows one man to influence so many lives in so many different ways; but it is clear that Jack will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.

    Sleep well dear Jack.

  5. Jack was always a delight to engage in conversation. He was wise, enthusiastic and interested.
    My father Sam Warren (1915-2007) lived just around the corner from him, in Boreham, and they both attended St Johns and the Close school. Jack therefore knew all my uncles, aunts and cousins and took delight in showing me museum pictures of my family. Only recently I represented Jack at my cousins funeral (he worked for Jack at Mains). We had a chat on the phone and after the funeral I sent him the order of service. I received a beautifully written letter of thanks. He was a true gentleman.
    Jack was talked of in my family for all of my life (a mere 65 years). When my Dad died Jack guessed he had known my Dad for 90 years!
    For me Warminster will not be the same without him. We must never forget his high standards in our continued custodianship of the social history of Warminster

  6. Warminster History Society

    Just to say thinking of friend Jack and i think of him whenever i look at Cley Hill and surrounding hillforts , his passion.
    Here is the man himself on a trip to Cley Hill at age 95 !!!!
    Jack at Cley Hill
    A thoughtful Jack !
    Jack Field pencil sketch

    Keith Rattray

  7. Warminster History Society

    Sorry & hope you ladies can now view the images of Jack

  8. uncle jack i grew up with @ malthouse farm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: