We go back to
1914, to the outbreak of the First World War, for the next poignant story. Mrs J.
Bromfield contacted me regarding her husband Brian’s grand-father, William
Bromfield. William died on the
14th October 1914, he was a Sergeant from the 6th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. His occupation be-fore the war, was an Engine Fitter, with the Harbour Trust. Taking up the story from, The Cambrian, which
reported that “Sergeant Bloomfield
was in the military
police, well known and highly respected in the town. On Wednesday, 7th October, Bloomfield left the house in the morning…. but very soon returned saying that he felt faint. Dr Anderson and Dr Isaac,
we called and his complaint was diagnosed as being pneumonia. As a result, he was at the beginning of the week removed to the Hospital, where he passed away on Wednesday”, a slight mistake was
made by the reporter in regards to his name!
What information is there about William Bromfield?
A death certificate was sourced and this established that William did die
from pneumonia at Swansea Hospital, he was registered as Bloomfield. Further
information revealed the father-in-law’s name as J. Lloyd, Rutland Place,
whom the family didn’t know about. Unfortunately, the hospital records dating from 1914 have all but disappeared. Luckily some hospital records have survived and those interested need to apply to
view the information from the West Glamorgan Archive Service.
Another good source of information, are the census’, dating
from 1841 –
1911. For William, 1881, he is
living with his parents at 10 Keniston Place, his
father Thomas, is a Blacksmith.
1891 the family have moved to Rutland Place. 1901 and
1911 William is now the
head of the family and is living at 20 Swan Street, and this
is where he was taken ill in 1914.
A footnote to this story, 6th Battalion, Welsh Regi-ment, which was formed at Swansea on the 4th August 1914, didn’t have a good start to the conflict, with the death by drowning of
Owen at Swansea Docks, and also a murder during Christmas 1914. Sergeant William Hooper, a Boer
War veteran was charged and convicted of the murder of Private Enoch Dudley
Street. The group of men were guarding the South Docks, and were given Christmas drinks, a bottle of whiskey went missing. Hooper accused Dudley,
and fatally shot him. Hooper was
sentenced to death, although the court of appeal reduced the sentence to four years’ imprisonment. Dudley is buried at
Gorseinon. I wonder what happened to Hooper?