Remembering Cpl. Stanley Clark Fields and the 5th Field Company, founded at Queen’s in 1910

Posted on November 11, 2020


On this Remembrance Day, Queen’s Engineering remembers Cpl. Stanley Clark Fields, the 5th Field Company/Royal Canadian Engineers veteran of the Second World War and the D-Day landings at Normandy.

Together with his comrades, Cpl. Fields landed on Juno Beach early in the morning of June 6, 1944. The soldiers of the 5th Field Company cleared the assault beach of underwater obstacles and mines at H-Hour. They advanced with the Canadian Corps through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany.  

Later in life, Cpl. Fields was one of the founders of the 5th Field Company RCE Veterans, through which he and his comrades maintained their bonds well into this century. Cpl. Stanley Clark Fields died peacefully at the Perley & Rideau Veterans Health Centre on April 11, 2020, at the age of 101. 

Cpl. Stanley Fields
The 5th Field Company, which comprised Queen’s students and faculty from the school of Mining Engineering, was formed just prior to the First World War, making them the first 'purely university company in Canada'. This unit of engineers was granted official recognition in early 1910. They contributed greatly to Canada’s preparations for the Great War, and men of the company served bravely in both World Wars. Many made the ultimate sacrifice.

The unit was once again deployed during the Second World War, at which time Cpl. Fields joined.

Queen’s was honoured to welcome Cpl. Fields to campus on Remembrance Day 2017, for the unveiling of the Queen’s Remembers plinth, which commemorates the sacrifices of the men of 5th Field Company, many of whom were the same ages as our students, and who unequivocally put others before themselves. The monument is located at the intersection of Union Street and Fifth Field Company Lane. He also led a wreath laying in the Memorial Room of the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC), in which the 351 names of the Queen’s fallen from both world wars are listed.

Those who were privileged to meet Cpl. Fields on that day were touched by his wit and warmth. He was gracious with those who wished to learn from him, despite the painful memories that might have been evoked.

“Queen’s Engineering is very proud of our military history, and in particular of our role in forming the 5th Field Company,” says Kevin Deluzio, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “Therefore, it was a real pleasure and an honour to meet Cpl. Fields and his family during our Remembrance Day ceremony a few years ago. His presence that day reminded me of the personal nature of the sacrifices that have been made by the men and women who served our country.”

 

Corporal Stanley Clark Fields, a veteran of the Second World War and member of the 5th Field Company, was present for the unveiling, along with three generations of his family. (University Communications)

The street sign on Fifth Field Company Lane. (University Communications)

 

This story is a consolidated version of two previously published in the Queen’s Gazette earlier this week and from the archive in 2017. For more information about the 5th Field Company engineers, see Queen's Remembers: the First World War