‘Forgotten’ soldier Gunner Robert Corfield died while on a training exercise in Bedford - but his death will not be commemorated by the M inistry Of Defence.
The details of how Gunner Corfield died while on a training exercise have now been published after the West Wales War Memorial Project investigated his death.
Mr Corfield, a self-employed hairdresser from Aberystwyth, had joined the Cardiganshire Battery, Royal Field Artillery, within a week of the start of the war in August 1914 and had subsequently volunteered for service overseas a month later.
He died while rehearsing an artillery drill in a field off Ampthill Road on August 26, 1915 when he fell from the firing battery he was riding on.
As he fell from the wagon, the wheel of the horse-drawn carriage ran over his head. Robert lay unconscious as Captain John Cook, Royal Army Medical Corps, tried in vain to save his life but his skull had been crushed and he died shortly afterwards.
Military historian and author from the West Wales War Memorial Project Steve John said: “The memory of Robert Corfield deserves to be commemorated on the nation’s official Debt of Honour.
“The coroner at the inquest into his death made clear that he was prepared to fight for his country and had died as nobly as if he had been fighting.
“However, 12 months after submitting details of his death to the Ministry of Defence his case has still not been considered.”
Mr Corfield’s battery, as part of the 1/2nd Welsh Brigade, was posted to Bedford to undergo training before deployment to the Western Front.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the MOD does not commemorate soldiers who are killed on operational exercises. They will only be recognised as war casualties and can receive medals if they are killed during deployment.
Mr John added: “Without the benefit of computerised records several thousand casualties from the First World War were omitted from official records compiled after the Armistice.
“Many were men who returned from the front only to die shortly afterwards from wounds or disease resulting from their military service and providing the necessary evidence to demonstrate they are entitled to be commemorated can be hard to find.
“But Robert Corfield’s case could not be clearer cut.”
The project is now investtigating thousands of death of soldiers from across the UK.