Private Norman Thornton Fielding 3379143 2nd Bn. East Lancashire Regiment

The body of Private Fielding on the road, with military ambulance behind

1901 Jul/Sep Born Blackburn

1911 census at 226 Accrington Road Blackburn

He was educated at St Oswald's School at Knuzden, then went on to work as a drawer at Altham Colliery

1920 Mar. Enlisted in East Lancs Regiment

1920 Jul. Posted to Ireland

1921 Apr 25. WS789. a British soldier, who gave his name as Private Fielding, and who posed as a deserter from Buttevant Barracks, was captured by Denny Noonan, who was in charge of a party of three, naie1y, Mick Collins, Con Browne and Jack Sheahan. He was tried by courtmartial and executed as a spy in the Charleville Battalion area. Later, I learned from the regiment's official "Lily White Magazine" that he was a high ranking, highly efficient Intelligence Officer. No more would-be deserters visited the area.

1921 Apr 26. Died age 19. Son of James and Elizabeth Fielding, of 478, Audley Range, Blackburn. He was found shot dead on the Churchtown Road in County Cork, he had been shot three times.

Florence O'Donoghue (a prominent IRA local commander) wrote in "No Other Law" Towards the end of February a British soldier was captured by the Liscarroll Company of the IRA. He pleaded that he was a deserter and was released. A short time later every house in which he had stayed was raided. Not long afterwards another alleged deserter was captured between Liscarroll and Freemount. He was taken to Freemount, tried and sentenced to death. He was taken back to the vicinity of Buttevant where the sentence was carried out. If proof was needed that this man and others shot in similar circumstances were not deserters, but rather some of those whom Macready has described as "volunteers for Intelligence work" it was provided by the fact that they were accorded military funerals


Buried Blackburn Cemetery

Official reprisals took place and 2 houses at Liscarroll were destroyed by the Military.

The grandson of another soldier stationed at Buttevant observed : “What this young man was doing walking alone in one of the most dangerous areas in Ireland at the time remains a mystery. Fielding must have known of the dangers of being out of barracks alone. Indeed, a month earlier, an army convoy was trapped in a well prepared ambush and four soldiers, including a general and two East Lancashire soldiers, Private Turner and Private Walker were killed.”

It is strange that East Lancs were not taking more precautions with their men. Pte Motley had disappeared a few days beforehand (his body was only recovered in 1927)

British Soldiers killed in Ireland