Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthApril 7, 1893
Place of BirthHastings, Sussex, England
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinHenry and Sarah Wingfield, parents, 18 NRock-a-Nore Road, Hasting
Trade / CallingFisherman
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental NumberA4748
Service Recordsee images below
ForceRoyal Navy
BranchSoldier Biographies
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentJanuary 1, 1913
Age at Enlistment19
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 1, 1973
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Wingfield, Frederick

Frederick Wingfield was born on 7 April 1893 in Hasting, Sussex, England. His father Henry Wingfield and mother Sarah Breeds, both from Hastings, had married on 4 September 1887 in Hastings. Henry was a fisherman by trade. Children born to the family were Mary (1888), Henry John (1890), Fred, William Edward (1898), and Alfred Charles (1901). By the time of the 1911 census Fred was also working as a fisherman.

On 29 March 1914, in Hastings, Fred married Ellen Florence Bumstead. Born on 30 November 1893 in Hastings, Flo was the daughter of fisherman John Bumstead and his wife Sarah Breeds who had married in 1878 in Hastings. Sadly Sarah died in 1899, with John marrying Catherine Corbett the next year.  By the time of the 1901 census Flo was living with her aunt Harriet (née Bumstead) Hayward in Hastings and by 1911 was working as a domestic for the Alfred and Florence Jones family in St Leonards on the Sea near Hastings.

Fred had enrolled with the Royal Navy on 1 January 1913. With rank of Seaman, over the years his service included postings on the following depot ships and active service ships: Victory, Colleen, Indian Empire, Kingfisher, Excellent, and President III. The Trawler Indian Empire was hired in late 1914 and was parented by Colleen at Queenstown (Cobh) from 1 February 1915, employed on minesweeping or anti-submarine duties. She distinguished herself by bringing in some 170 survivors from the sinking of the Lusitania, more than any other boat. Fred was posted to the trawler at the time. In August of 1914 Fred was awarded a Good Conduct Badge, and later promoted to Leading Seaman (equivalent of Corporal). He was discharged from service on 30 May 1919, giving him four chevrons (1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918) for his service during the war. He was also awarded the Star, Victory Medal, and British War Medals.

Two of Fred’s brothers served during the war. Henry enrolled with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 6 December 1907. During the war he served on a number of ships including the Hercules that participated in the Battle of Jutland. He was discharged from service as Leading Seaman in March of 1919. William Edward enrolled with the Royal Navy in March of 1917, discharged in March of 1920 and awarded a Good Conduct Badge that spring.

Fred and Flo made Hastings their home, with Fred working as a commercial fisherman. The couple gave birth to three children, Florence Sarah, Frederick Jack, and Charles (Chuck). At the time of the 1939 Register the family was living in Walbrook Cottage on Croft Road in Hastings, with Fred’s occupation listed as fish porter. According to a later newspaper article, both Fred and Flo enlisted in the National Fire Service at the outbreak of WW2. Their son Private Frederick Jack Wingfield served with the Royal Sussex Regiment during the war and died in service on 4 June 1940. He is interred in the Saint Pol War Cemetery in Saint-Pol-sur-Ternois in France.

Fred’s sister Mary was the first to immigrate to Canada. Her first husband William Ernest Ball, serving with the Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, had died of his wounds on 1 May 1916 in France/Belgium. In 1918 she married WW1 veteran Arthur Warwick who was serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the time. Along with her husband and young son by her first marriage, she immigrated to Canada in March of 1918, arriving on the 20th aboard the Olympic. They settled in the Cambridge, Ontario area. Fred’s brother Alfred immigrated to Canada in 1920, arriving on 21 June on the Scandinavian. Marrying, he also lived in the Cambridge area.

In August of 1948 Fred and Flo immigrated to Canada, taking up residence in Galt, close to Cambridge. Fred worked at Stauffer Dobbie Limited, one of the three large textile factories in the area. Retiring due to ill health, Fred and Flo moved to Kenora, Ontario around 1961 where their son Chuck, a probation officer, was living. They first lived with Chuck on 1st Avenue South in Kenora, and then later moved to 212 Front Street in nearby Keewatin.

Fred died in April of 1973. At the time of his death he was survived by his wife Flo and son Chuck in Keewatin and daughter Florence (George) Horn in England. He was also survived by his brother Alfred in Canada. He was predeceased by his father Henry (1942) and mother Sarah (1946), both in Hastings, his brother William Edward (1938, Hastings) sister Mary Warwick (1939, Chesterfield, Ontario), and brother Henry (1940, Fulham, London). Fred’s wife Flo died on 10 June 1980 in Keewatin. His brother Albert died in 1988 in Cambridge. Fred and Flo are interred in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.

By Judy Stockham

Newspaper clippings of the Wingfield boys:  Hastings and St Leonards Pictorial Advertiser as found on the East Sussex WW1 website

Wingfield-Frederick-2 Wingfield-Frederick-3 Wingfield-Frederick-4 Wingfield-Frederick-6 Wingfield-Frederick-7 Wingfield-Frederick-8 Wingfield-Frederick-9 Wingfield-Frederick-10 Wingfield-Frederick-11

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