Harry Nield, L/Cpl 1759, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 18th August 1915 at sea off Gallipoli, aged 19
Harry Nield was born on 13th June and baptised on 26th July 1896 at St Peter’s Church, Macclesfield, the son of Emma and Thomas Nield, a labourer of 16 Copper Street, Macclesfield.
Harry began his education on 13th August 1900 at St George’s School, London Road, Macclesfield. By 1901, the family had moved to 59, Cross Street, Macclesfield, where four year old Harry lived with his parents and siblings Elizabeth Ann (21) and Fred (3).
Ten years later, the family had moved to 10 Chapel Street and Harry was employed as a silk embroiderer; he later found employment at Allan B. Carlisle’s paper mill in Brasshouse Street, Macclesfield.
Harry was a member of the 7th Macclesfield Scout Troop.
Harry attested at Macclesfield in August 1914, joining the 7th Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment, and following a period of training in various locations in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. Having landed, they came under shell fire at about 8.30am and so moved north along the edge of the bay; they then received orders to attack in the direction of a dip in the hills behind Anafarta Saghir.
At 8am on 10th August the Battalion was ordered to attack Hill 70. This was unsuccessful and the Battalion suffered severe losses. A second unsuccesssful attack took place at 5pm.
The following day at 2.30pm the Brigade moved north, but the 7th Cheshires and 4th Welsh Regiments on the left were under attack so had to pull back. The 7th Cheshires remained in this position in trenches for several days.
It is not known when Harry was badly wounded, but he was evacuated from Gallipoli and on board the hospital ship HMHS Euripides, bound for Alexandria, when he died of his wounds at sea on 18th August 1915. It is assumed that he was buried at sea.
Harry’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Courier of 11th September, 1915:
“News has been received by Mr and Mrs Nield, of 10 Chapel Street, that their son, Lance-Corporal Harry Nield, has died from wounds sustained whilst fighting in the Dardanelles. He died on the boat on his way to Alexandria. Lance-Corporal Nield, who was 19 years of age, was called up on mobilisation at the outbreak of war, and after a course of training he was drafted to the Dardanelles with his regiment. Previous to enlisting he was employed at Mr Carlisle’s paper mill. He was a regular attender of St George’s School.”
Lance Corporal Harry Nield has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 75 to 77 on the Helles Memorial in Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for L/Cpl Harry Nield, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
In Macclesfield, L/Cpl Harry Nield is commemorated on the Park Green, Town Hall, St Michael’s Church, St George’s Church, and St Peter’s Church war memorials, and the Brunswick Wesleyan Methodist Church and Ancient Order of Foresters rolls of honour.
The floral tributes laid when the Macclesfield Park Green War Memorial was unveiled on 21st September 1921 included one with the words “In affectionate remembrance of our dear cousins, Harry Nield and Fred Nield.”
Harry was the older brother of Fred Nield, who died in May 1918 in France.