FIFIELD, Edward John
(Service number 23/1627)
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||23 July 1887||Place of Birth||Woodbury, South Canterbury, New Zealand|
|Date||19 October 1915||Age||27 years 2 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Woodbury, New Zealand|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Joseph Fifield (father), Woodbury, New Zealand|
|Served with||New Zealand Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||3rd Reinforcements, 1st Battalion, E Company|
|Date||8 January 1916|
|Transport||HMNZT 38 Tahiti or HMNZT 39 Warrimoo|
|Embarked From||Wellington, N.Z.||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||Trentham Regiment, !st Battalion, 3rd Reinforcements E Company, 9th Infantry Regiment|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||Egyptian, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Western European|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||16 April 1919||Reason||Discharged no longer physically fit on account of illness contracted on active service. (Bronchitis)|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
16 May 1916 - wounded; 1 July 1916 - No14 General Hospital; 10 July 1916 - 2nd London General Hospital; 15 July 1916 - New Zealand General Hospital; 7 March 1917 - No3 New Zealand General Hospital; 21 March 1917 - No3 Convalescent Hospital - Bronchitis 3 July 1917 - No3 New Zealand General Hospital; 24 July 1917 - No3 Convalescent Hospital; 25 September 1917 - Temporary Hospital,Torquay.
|Date||26 August 1939||Age||52 Years|
|Place of Death||Geraldine, New Zealand|
|Notices||Timaru Herald 1 September 1939|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Temuka Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Services Section Row 150 Plot 696 No:21515|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Edward John Fifield, the son of Joseph and Sarah Ann Fifield (nee Evans) was born on 23 July 1887 in Woodbury, South Canterbury. Joseph and Sarah had seven children: Edward, Frederick, Leslie, Doreen, Joseph, Allan and Henry. Edward, Frederick, Leslie, and Joseph all served during the First World War. Joseph died of sickness on active service.
When Edward enlisted and attested at Trenthan on 19 October 1915, he was a labourer and worked for Mr J. Vance of Woodbury. During his medical examination Captain Paterson described Edward as being Anglican, 27 years and 2 months of age, 5 foot 8¼ inches tall and weighing 142lb. He had a chest measurement of a maximum of 34½ inches and a minimum of 31 inches. He had fair hair and brown eyes and was of a fair complexion, with a tattoo on his left forearm.
Private Fifield was attached to the 2nd Company, 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment, and left New Zealand on 18 October 1915, disembarking with the 3rd Reinforcements at Suez on 8 February 1916. On 11 March 1916 he joined the 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment at Moascan.On 7 April 1916 he embarked for France from Egypt and was attached to the 2nd New Zealand Mortar Battery in the field on 11 May 1916.
On the 16 May 1916 Fifield was wounded in action in the field. He was wounded in the right arm, left shoulder and left leg. On 1 July 1916 he was admitted to the No 14 General Hospital in Wimereire the next day he embarked onboard the hospital ship St Denis for England. He was admitted to the 2nd London General Hospital, in Chelsea on 10 July 1916. On the 15 July 1916 he was transferred to the New Zealand General Hospital at Rotherham, and from there he was admitted to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital in Hornchurch on 9 August 1916. He was attached to strength at the Command Depot at Codford on 5 September 1916.
Fifield left the New Zealand Command Depot, for Sling Camp, on 17 Janurary 1917. He was attached to strength at the New Zealand Command Depot at Codford on 15 February 1917. On 7 March 1917 he was admitted to the No3 New Zealand General Hospital in Codford and transferred to No3 New Zealand Convalescent Hospital in Hornchurch on 21 March 1917 before being discharged back to the New Zealand Command Depot in Codford on 15 June 1917. On 3 July 1917 he was again admitted to the No3 New Zealand General Hospital at Codford and transferred on 24 July 1917 to the No3 Convalescent Hospital in Hornchurch.
On 2 August 1917, Private Edward John Fifield was classified as unfit and placed on the New Zealand Roll. On 14 August 1917, he was discharged from the Hospital in Hornchurch, and placed on leave to Torquay, until 25 September 1917 when he was sent to the Temporary Hospital in Torquay.
Like many others Fifield's service was not without some minor infraction. On 6 January 1918 he was absent without leave for fatigue duties form 7.30 am until 10 am he was punished with 5 days of CB (confined to barracks). Regradless, less than a month later, on 1 February 1918 Private Fifield embarked on board the Willochra at Liverpool and returning home to New Zealand, disembarking on 20 March 1918. He was discharged as being no longer physically fit for active service because of Bronchitis on 16 April 1918.
While on active service Edward served in the Egyptian, Egyptian Expeditionary Forces, and Western European campaigns, during the two years and 180 days that he served his country. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal for his efforts. His intended address after leaving the army was 15 Buchanan Street in Timaru (31 July 1919) and 28 Wilson Street, Geraldine on 2 May 1922.
Edward and his wife had three children: Charles Edward born 22 November 1919, Myra Lucy born 25 September 1921, and Cyril born 12 Sept 1923. Edward died at Geraldine on 26 August 1939, he is buried in the RSA section of the Temuka Cemetery.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [16 September 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0039806) [17 September 2016].
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