The Field Bros shop in 1961
Photograph by Peter Quittenton & Lovell Appleyard LRPS
Godalming Museum ref: B000.2.28


Field Brothers, Walter John Field (1893-1942) and Joseph Field (1898-1969), known as Jack and Joe were partners of Field Bros, newsagents and stationers in Godalming. In 1921 they took over the business of William Herbert Cooper at 24 High Street (now no 66 Granny’s Pantry). They were the sons of Frederick Field and Elizabeth Susan Bird who had lived in Bromley, Kent, for some years but returned to live at Southland, Green Lane, Farncombe.

Jack was a member of the Godalming Town Council from 1934. He was a voluntary Air Raid Patrol Officer (ARP) responsible for the inauguration of the organisation in Godalming and in 1939 was appointed a salaried full-time officer and sub-controller to the local ARP. He was also a member of the Godalming Branch of the British Red Cross.

Jack married Frances Elizabeth Tribe (qv) in 1922 and had one daughter, Betty Joan Field. Jack died in 1942, aged 49, at 29 Grove Road. His daughter moved to Sutton and died in 2004. The monumental inscription in Eashing Cemetery records “In Memory of Walter John Field born 16th February 1893, died 5th August 1942 and his daughter Betty Joan Field born 28th October 1922 died 2nd December 2004”.

Joe married Georgina Edith Moreal Beverley Baker at Busbridge Church on the 9th July 1924. They had four children. After the death of his brother in 1942 Joe carried on the business on his own. Joe was to suffer another family tragedy when in 1944 his wife was killed, aged 43, in a cycling accident along Meadrow. Joe was left with two boys, Frederick Joseph William and Jeffrey C and three girls, Mary Elaine, Annie Beverley, and Josephine (Josey) the youngest who was aged four. They lived at Brankford, 3 Wolseley Road, Farncombe.

On the 9th June 1945 daughter, Annie Beverley Field (Nancy) married Leonard Arthur (Len) Steel. Later in the same year Joe, aged 48, married Annie Louise Steel on the 11th July at St Peter and St Paul Church. She was Leonard Steel’s sister.

Joe was a keen bowls player and past president and founder member of the Farncombe Bowls Club. He was commandant of the Godalming Division of the British Red Cross and one of the founder members of the Chamber of Commerce.

Joe retired c1955 and the business was carried on by his son-in-law, Leonard Steel and his wife, Annie. The newsagent was re-established c1969 at 43, High Street (now British Heart Foundation).

Joe’s wife, Annie Louise, died in 1969 aged 45, and later in the year Joe died on the 29th December 1969, aged 72.

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