Corporal Stanley Clark Fields (Ret’d)

    • Corporal Stanley Clark Fields (Ret’d)
    • RCE GVIR
    • Corporal Stanley Clark Fields (Ret’d)

    We regret to advise of the death of Corporal Stanley Clark Fields (Ret’d), peacefully on 11 April 2020 at the Perley & Rideau Veterans' Health Centre in Ottawa ON at the age of 101 years. Stanley was a veteran of the Second World War and believed to be the last surviving member of 5th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, one of the assaulting engineer companies on Juno Beach on D-Day.

    Stanley grew up in Ottawa and was a page on Parliament Hill as a teenager. He worked as a plumber after high school and joined the Canadian Army in September 1939, one week after war was declared. During his training in Canada, Stan eventually was assigned to 5th Field Company Royal Canadian Engineers in February 1942. After training in Canada he arrived in England in July 1943. Training continued for a year in preparation for the Invasion of Europe.

    On D-Day, the 5th Field Company was one of four Sapper companies involved in the assault phase at Juno Beach. The 5th Field Company was split into sections across each of the assault beaches and Stanley’s sections landed on “Nan Red” beach in Saint-Aubin supporting the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade's North Shore Regiment. After the assault, the Company re-assembled over the next two days and prepared for the start of an 11-month campaign that led to the eventual defeat of Germany. For the advance across Northwest Europe, the 5th Field Company was involved in all the typical sapper tasks. Every existing bridge became a target for the enemy and the sappers built improvised or Bailey bridges to repair or replace them. The sappers were constantly detecting and removing bobby traps and mines. As the front advanced road repair was essential. Mobility was especially difficult in the winter and worse when the Germans flooded large areas of Holland.

    Late in the war, Stanley was injured and was evacuated behind the lines for about ten days. He found an opportunity with a truck going towards the front and hitched a ride back to his section to stay with until the end of the war. After war’s end, Stanley returned to Canada and was demobilized in November 1945. He started working again as a plumber and was employed in that profession until retiring at age 65 years.

    After the war, Stanley and his comrades formed the 5th Field Company Association to help maintain their camaraderie. Stanley was instrumental in keeping the remaining veterans in contact over many years. As well, he researched and wrote the unit’s WW II history book: "History of the 5th Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers, 1941-1946.” Stanley would never miss the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the National War Memorial and was an invited guest of Normandy to participate in the activities of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. He was awarded the Legion of Honour by France in recognition of his participation in the Battle for France.

    A private interment was held on 16 April 2020. A Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date. If you plan to make an in memoriam donation, please consider the Perley & Rideau Veterans Health Centre Foundation.  Online condolences can be sent to the funeral home. {khApr2020}

    * Note: See HERE for a 2014 interview with Stanley Fields on his WWII experiences.