Trans-Atlantic get-well message elicits royal response for Westfield man
WESTFIELD – A get well message sent by a local man received a response from across the Atlantic.
Westfield resident William Howard Field sent a get well card to Queen Elizabeth II of England when she was in the hospital back in December 2012. This April, he received a response from Lady-in-Waiting Susan Hussey which said the Queen wanted her to write and thank Field for his letter and card.
“How many people do you know got a letter from Buckingham Palace from the Lady in Waiting,” Field said, doubting anyone else in 500 miles could say they did. “That’s how important this letter is.”
Field has followed Queen Elizabeth II her entire career since she was coronated in June 1953.
“I watched her grow up and develop,” Field said.
He was also a petty officer in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946 serving in World War II where he took two tankers of airplane fuel to Scotland for the Royal Air Force and was in every theater of the war.
He mentioned this to her in his letter, also noting his father was one of the thousands of poor British children shipped to Nova Scotia by Dr. Thomas Barnardo.
Though Field didn’t really expect a reply, when he sent his letter, Field told the post office worker, “When I get my letter back, I’ll let you read it.” He kept his word when he saw the envelope address to him and sent via Royal Mail.
A successful businessman selling engine rebuilding equipment and owning a diner in Sherman, Field married his wife, Marian, on Sept. 28, 1946. She died in 2002. Field called her, “the only woman I was ever married to and ever will be.”
Field said he proposed to Marian four hours after he met her through a Navy buddy’s girlfriend when she was a camp counselor. They were married five weeks later.
“That woman could do anything,” he said. “She was a bright woman. To this day, I can’t believe how bright that girl was.”
Now that he has received this unexpected response from Windsor Castle, Field plans to write a thank you note back to the Queen and Hussey and invite Hussey here for a visit or ask her to meet him for lunch in London.
“I’ve had an interesting life,” Field said.
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