John was the younger son of James Kinghorn Field, an engineer, and his wife Jane Winifred Maud who married at St. Luke’s Church, West Norwood on 5 September 1912. He was born on the Isle of Wight.

He was educated at Charterhouse from 1929 and Matriculated in 1934. He was Captain of Football at Charterhouse in the 1933 and 1934 seasons and won his cricket colours in 1934. He played football for the Old Carthusians. His elder brother, Henry E Kinghorn Field was at Charterhouse in the year ahead of him.

When John applied to Christ Church, his address was The Blue Court Hotel in Kings Langley. Unusually, he seems to have done all the paperwork himself, and the Dean had to request, twice, a formal letter of application from his father.

He was a Commoner and held the Fell Exhibition. He read Modern History in which he graduated with a 2nd. He won a Football Blue in his first season at Oxford.

He was a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve serving on the corvette HMS Salvia when he died on 24 December 1941.

On 23 December 1941, HMS Salvia (Lt.Cdr John Isdale Miller DSO DSC) was escorting the convoy TA-5 when Shuntien was sunk by U-559 (Heidtmann). The ship carried 850 prisoners of war and the corvette stayed behind to collect survivors but was not seen again, only oil and wreckage was found by HMS Peony (K40) about 100 miles west of Alexandria.

At 01.35 hours on 24 December, U-568 had fired a spread of four torpedoes at the Salvia. One of them hit her and she broke in two. The stern part sank, rapidly, whilst burning oil covered the sea. The fore part sank after a few minutes. All four officers and 54 ratings were lost together with the master, 47 crew members and an unknown number of gunners and prisoners from the Shuntien.

John was Gazetted Mentioned in Despatches on 11 November 1941.

He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Panel 60, Column 2 and on the War Memorial in St. Andrew’s Church, Kettleburgh, Suffolk.

The family lived at the Mill House, Kettleburgh.

Plaque in St Andrew’s Church, Kettleburgh

His brother, Henry E. K Field was, at some time, a civil servant in Uganda. With his wife and twelve years old daughter he arrived in Liverpool from Port Said in December 1944. The manifest shows his address as The Mill House, Kettleburgh.

J. L. Field Prize
In 1955 H. E. K. Field made a benefaction, to found an Exhibition in memory of his brother, John Lawrence Field, former Commoner of the House and Fell Exhibitioner. In 1988 he made a further benefaction to award a second Exhibition. The Exhibitions are to be awarded for the purpose of travel abroad, to Commoners in their second year reading Modern History and Literae Humaniores, and other things being equal shall be given to men and women studying at their own expense. A statement of the career of J. L. Field shall be sent to each prizewinner.
(1) Two J. L. Field Prizes may be awarded annually by the Governing Body, on the recommendation of the Tutors in Modern History and Literae Humaniores, at the second Meeting of the Trinity Term.
(2)  If in any year no recommendations are made by the Tutors in Modern History and Literae Humaniores, the income for that year shall be retained in the revenue balance of the fund; and in any year when the state of the fund allows, a third Prize may be awarded.
(3) The value of the Prizes shall be as the Governing Body may from time to time determine
The John Lawrence Field Memorial Fund is part of the Aldborough Music Endowment Fund.