Wilfred Thomas Merryfield
Acting Corporal, Honourable Artillery Company
Age 15, Class IV Upper: 'Quiet and painstaking - good character.'
Wilfred Thomas Merryfield studied at Alleyn’s until 1904 before finding work as a commercial traveller in the manufacturing industry. During this time, he lived 91 Hopton Road, Streatham with his parents, Henry and Mary, and his brother, Leopald. When war broke out in August 1914, Wilfred remained working in his civilian job until deciding to enlist in the war effort in November 1915. After being attested, he joined the Honourable Artillery Company as part of 1st Reserve Battalion, remaining in England until October 1916 when he received orders to go overseas for service on the Western Front. Wilfred served in France with the HAC throughout 1917 and played an important role in Allied operations by providing essential firepower to the advancing infantry in battle. During his time overseas, Wilfred unfortunately did not escape illness or injury and in May 1917, shortly after recovering from ‘Trench Fever’, he suffered shrapnel wound to forehead. The injury saw him transferred home to England where he remained for the rest of the war as part of the British reserve force. After recovering from his injury and returning to duty, Wilfred received a promotion and served as Acting Corporal until the end of the war in 1918. After the end of the conflict, he received the British War and Victory Medal for his wartime service.