Douglas PADFIELD
Rank: Private
Number: 67331
Unit: ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
Date of Death: 4 June 1917
Age: 22
Cemetery: Christ Church, Woodford, Cheshire

George Padfield and Anna Scott married in Newcastle upon Tyne in the late spring of 1894. He originated from Warwick but was, no doubt, in the area in connection with his work as a travelling salesman selling sewing machines. Douglas was born about 12 months later. In the middle of the 1890s, they were in Durham where Douglas’ sister, Bertha, was born.

By the time of the 1901 Census, they had moved to the Stockport area and taken up residence at Cromwell Road, Hazel Grove. George’s career progressed well and, when the Great War started, they had moved to “Briarfield” on Moss Lane in Bramhall. Douglas was by then working as a clerk at the head office of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, on Spring Gardens in Manchester. He would later be included in the Bank’s entry in the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour. Through a succession of mergers, the Bank eventually became part of Barclays Bank.

Douglas enlisted into the army in September 1915, going overseas on active service at some point. In 1917, he developed pneumonia and was evacuated back to the UK where he was admitted to Colwyn Bay Military Hospital. His recovery had gone well and he was due to be discharged later in June. His parents came to see on the weekend before he died.

It would seem that he went swimming in the bay and got into difficulties. Reporting his death, the Stockport Advertiser suggested he had suffered heart failure (presumably a heart attack). “Miss Gladys Willetts, 144 Leopold Road, Edge Hill, Liverpool, a visitor bathing at the same time, heard shouts for help and struck out in the direction of the drowning man. She called to another bather, Allison Barber of 69 South Grove, Brooklands, to go with her. The two struck out towards the soldier in distress and as they neared him, he went under. They both dived twice unsuccessfully.”  Douglas’s body was recovered two hours later by Sergeant Thomas of the local police and it was brought back to Woodford for burial on 8 June.

   
           
   
     
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