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