Images and additional information courtesy of Janet.

Born: 1897, Westerfield, Suffolk.

Died: 7th May 1917; age 19; Died of Meningitis at Salisbury Isolation Hospital, Wiltshire.

Residence: Westerfield, Suffolk.

Occupation: mineral water manufacturers – Messrs. Talbot and Co., Ltd., Ipswich.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich; January 1917.


Rank: Gunner; Service Number: 181466.

Regiment: Royal Field Artillery, 22nd Reserves Battery.


Grave Reference:

South West of the church.

St. Mary Magdalene Churchyard,



Evening Star – Thursday, 10th May 1917 – The remains of Gunner Harold W. Day, R.F.A., aged 19 years, only son of Mr. and Mrs. Day, of Westerfield, were laid to rest in the Village Churchyard on Wednesday afternoon. The body arrived at Westerfield Station about 2 o’clock and was buried with military honours. The deceased died on Sunday at a Military Hospital, in Salisbury. Among a number of wreaths sent was one from the employers of Messrs. Talbot and Co., Ltd., where Harold was employed previous to being called up for service in January last. A great number of the villagers attended to show their last respect.


Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William & Margaret Day, of Ivy Cottage, Swan Lane, Westerfield, Suffolk.




1901   Swan Lane, Westerfield, Suffolk.


Harold was 2 years old and living with his parents, aunt & cousins.

William Day, 27, a Stockman on Farm, born Grundisburgh, Suffolk.

Margaret Day (nee Wooby), 25, born Westerfield, Suffolk.

Alice Day, 32, widow, born Ipswich.

Laura Day, 8, born Grundisburgh.

Alice Day, 3, born Grundisburgh.

Phyllis Day, 6 months, born Grundisburgh.


1911   Swan Lane, Westerfield.


Harold was 12 years old and living with his parents & sister.

William, 37, a Cowman on Farm.

Margaret, 35.

Irene Harriet W. Day, 8 months, born Westerfield.


Partner – Hilda Emma Gillingham, born November 1898, Ipswich.

Hilda and Harold had one daughter:

Vera Mary Day Gillingham, born March 1917, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to William Day – father.

Back row: Hilda Gillingham, Harold Day, William Day (father)

Irene Day (sister) Margaret Day (mother)

A family note:

Harold and my maternal Grandmother, Hilda Gillingham, were involved romantically prior to Harold’s conscription into the Royal Artillery.  I do not know what date Harold entered military service. From a few postcards in my possession, Harold wrote the following to Hilda:

Postmark Bury St. Edmunds 30th ……?

“I have arrived at Bury and am alright in barracks for a time.  There is nothing to worry about.”

Postmark Woolwich S E 13th January 1917

“I am expecting a move so don’t write again until you hear.”

Postmark Boyton Camp, Wiltshire 9th February 1917

“I will let you know more about my leave.  I will write a letter soon.”


Tragically, Harold never returned to Suffolk and died in Salisbury hospital on 7th May 1917.


Harold never saw his baby daughter, Vera Mary Day Gillingham who was born on 28th March 1917.  Vera attended Northgate School for Girls and qualified as a teacher and taught at Mountnessing during the Second World War and at St. John’s C of E school, Ipswich from 1956 to 1977.

The Ipswich project has produced an amazing testament to the lives of those lost during WW1.


Janet Greengrass (nee Thorpe)

Daughter of Vera Day Gillingham


  Vera Mary Day Gillingham

Photo believed to be taken while training.


Royal Field Artillery, 22nd Reserves Battery:


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