The Waterfields originated from Derbyshire where Charles Waterfield and Sarah Hall had married in 1877. The ceremony was registered at Belper and they spent many years in the area with Richard - the youngest of their ten children - being born in Shottle in about 1896. Shortly after that, they moved to Stockport, no doubt in connection with Charles' work for the Telegraph Department of one of the railway companies., and lived at 1 Adelaide Road, Edgeley.
Nothing is known of Richard;s early life but, before he joined the army, he was working for Brooks Ltd, a local firm of carriers on Chestergate. The 18th Battalion of the Welsh Regiment was formed in Cardiff as a "Bantam Battalion" - men under the army's original minimum height of 5' 3". Whilst many of its original members came from that area, numbers were "topped up" by similar sized recruits from all over the country. They went overseas in June 1916 but, just before this, a tragedy struck the family when Frederick was killed at work in an accident at Willesden Junction, in north west London.
Throughout the late summer and early autumn of 1916, the Battle of the Somme raged on, but for the men of the 18th Welsh it was a relatively quiet time to the north of the battlefield. On 17 October, they were in the trenches near the village of Loos, scene of fierce fighting the previous year. The War Diary, held at the National Archives, has only brief details of the day, stating that they were heavily bombarded by enemy trench mortars. Richard was one of the ten to be killed.
In the early 1920s, when the War Graves Commission collated its casualty information, Sarah Waterfield was living at 11 Walton Street.