William Cecil Nield, Private 1653, 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 14th March 1915 at Ypres, aged 19
William Cecil Nield was born on 25th May 1895 and baptised on 30th June at Christ Church, Macclesfield, the son of Mary Ann and William Nield, an Attendant, of Great King Street, Macclesfield.
By 1901, William’s father had died and he was living with his widowed mother, a Forewoman Machinist, and siblings Charles, Hilda and Amy at 4 Crown Street West.
William’s mother remarried in 1904, marrying George Worth at St John’s Church, Macclesfield.
At some time, possibly as early as 19th January 1903, William joined the Royal Hibernian Military school in Dublin, and remained there until his 14th birthday, 25th May 1909. The next day, William attested at Dublin to join the Leicestershire Regiment (service no. 8727) for 12 years. His description made clear he was just a young lad: 4ft 11in tall, weight 84 pounds, 30 inch chest, fresh complexion, grey eyes and light brown hair. His mother was named as next of kin, living at 72 Brown Street, Macclesfield.
William gained his third class certificate of education on 30th July 1909 and his second class certificate on 16th December 1909. He was transferred to the 1st Cheshire Regiment with service number 9361 on 7th October 1909, and listed in the 1911 census as a fifteen-year-old “schoolboy” with the 1st Cheshire Regiment in the Victoria Barracks, Belfast.
William was discharged from the Army two years later on 16th November 1911: His services being no longer required.
Soon after the outbreak of World War One, William attested at Chester and, on 17th February 1915 he was drafted to fight in the second battle of Ypres. Just 25 days later on the 14th March he was killed in action, aged 19 years.
Private William Nield has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 19-22 of the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private William Nield, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
William Cecil Nield was the brother of Arthur and Charles Nield, who also served with the Cheshire Regiment.