35889 Cpl. Arthur Fielding MM.
17th and 20th Bn
they want £650 for them closing date 16th March 2010
A very interesting and well documented Military Medal, British War and Victory Medal pair to a Corporal of 35th Division who was wounded in action at Passchendaele with the 20th (Service) Battalion (4th Salford) Lancashire Fusiliers on the 22nd October 1917 and who was awarded a his military medal for bravery during the Final Advance in Flanders in October 1918 whilst serving with the 17th (Service) Battalion (1st South East Lancashire) Lancashire Fusiliers.
Military Medal awarded to:
35889 CPL. A. FIELDING. 17th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers.
British War and Victory Medals awarded to:
35889 CPL. A FIELDING. Lancashire Fusiliers..
With copy Medal Index Card (colour - front and back) and Medal Roll both confirming the award of the pair only, copy Service Papers (13 pages), copy Military Medal Index Card, copy London Gazette entry and header for the award of the Military Medal (14th May 1919), copy War Diary covering the major actions in which Arthur was wounded and for which he won his Military Medal, copy Birth and Marriage certificates and 1881, 1891 and 1911 Census entries.
Arthur Fielding was born on the 13th July 1883 at 8 River Place, Hulme, Manchester in Lancashire. He was the son of rat catcher John Fielding and Rosetta Morris, who had married in Manchester in 1873. Arthurs father died in 1885 and his mother married again, wedding James Butler in 1889, but she too died in 1894, while Arthur was just 21 years old.
Arthur was working as a grocer when, on the 20th April 1903 he married Louisa Marland at the Parish Church of St Marks, Gorton. Together they had three children, all born in Hulme; Edith 8th June 1907, Ida 29th March 1913 and Sidney 9th April 1915.
At the time of the 1911 Census, Arthur and his young family were living at 755 Chester Street, Stretford, Manchester and he was working as an oil tank wagon driver.
Arthur attested into the Army on the 22nd July 1916, presumably having been called up for service. At the time he was living at 106 Mill Street, Bradford and he travelled to Manchester Town Hall to enlist. He was 33 years old and gave his occupation as driver salesman. At his medical the same day he was recorded as being was 5 feet 3¾ inches tall with a 39 inch chest. He had blue eyes, brown hair and fresh complexion. He was passed fit for Military Service.
His application was accepted at the Lancashire Fusiliers Depot at Bury on the 24th July 1916 and the next day he became Private 35889 of the Lancashire Fusiliers and was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of that Regiment. The 3rd Battalion was a training unit, based at Bury. It remained in UK throughout the war, moving within days of declaration of war to Hull (where Arthur would have joined it) and in November 1916 to Withernsea (on the North Sea coast), as part of the Humber Garrison.
On the 18th August 1916 Arthur was appointed (paid) acting Lance Corporal.
On Christmas Day 1916 he was posted to the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, part of 86th Brigade in 29th Division, and embarked for France the same day, reverting to Private on deployment.
The 1st Battalion had been in Karachi, India when war was declared in August 1914. It returned to England, landing on the 2nd January 1915 and moved to Nuneaton, Warwickshire. On the 2nd January 1915 it was attached to 86th Brigade in 29th Division and on the 16th March 1915 sailed via Egypt to Gallipoli, landing on the 25th April 1915. It was evacuated to Egypt in January 1916 before moving to France, landing at Marseilles in March 1916 and proceeding to the Western Front.
Arthur arrived in France on Boxing Day 1916 and on the 16th January 1917 he was posted to the 20th (Service) Battalion (4th Salford) Lancashire Fusiliers, part of 104th Brigade in 35th Division. At the time they were at Manin, west of Arras, where they were undergoing training. Arthur arrived at his unit on the 20th January 1917 as part of a draft of 197 other ranks.
The 20th Battalion was formed in Salford on the 23 March 1915, by Mr Montague Barlow, MP and the Salford Brigade Committee as a Bantam Battalion. In August 1915, it moved to Conway and in August 1915 to Cholderton, Wiltshire where it was attached to 104th Brigade in 35th Division. The battalion landed at Le Havre on the 30th January 1916. It was finally disbanded in Belgium on the 16 February 1918.
On the 4th May 1917, Lance Corporal Arthur Fielding was charged that on the 2nd May 1917 when in the field he was in neglect of duty when in charge of working party and was also smoking on parade. He was severely reprimanded by the GOC, but luckily suffered no further punishment and did not forfeit any pay.
Later that same year, from the 26th September 1917 to 7th October 1917, Arthur received leave to UK, however, on his return to France he was wounded in action.
The 35th Division was in action during the fighting in Houthulst Forest, part of the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). The War Diary of the 20th (Service) Battalion (4th Salford) Lancashire Fusiliers records:
22 October 1917 Boesinghe
Casualties for the operation: Officers, one killed and five wounded; Ordinary Ranks, 27 killed, 168 wounded and 12 missing.
Arthur was wounded in action on this day, being buried by a shell. He was admitted to 106th Field Ambulance (part of 35th Division from November 1915 to November 1918). On the 23rd October he was moved to No.4 Casualty Clearing Station, which was based at Lozinghem, Belgium from June 1917 to March 1918. He finally returned to his unit on the 16th November 1917.
On the 6th February 1918 Arthur was posted to the 17th (Service) Battalion (1st South East Lancashire) Lancashire Fusiliers (in 104th Brigade, 35th Division) as the 20th Lancashire Fusiliers disbanded, finally joining them on the 20th March 1918.
The 17th Battalion was formed in Bury on the 3rd December 1914 by Lieutenant Colonel G. E. Wike and a Committee, as a Bantam Battalion. It moved to Chadderton (Oldham) on the 16th March 1915 and in June 1915 went to Masham. On the 21st June 1915 it was attached to 104th Brigade in 35th Division. It was formally adopted by the War Office on the 27th August 1915 and moved to Cholderton, Wiltshire in August 1915. It landed at Le Havre on the 29th January 1916 and ceased to be a Bantam Battalion in early 1917.
On the 26th June 1918 Arthur was promoted to Corporal, however, just a month later on the 30th August, he was in trouble for a second time. This time he was charged that on 28th August 1918 when on Active Service that he was drunk in town, the town being Boulogne. Once again he was severely reprimanded by GOC, but again escaped further punishment.
It is testament to Arthur that he immediately bounced back from this misconduct and in October 1918, he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field.
The 35th Division was heavily engaged in the Final Advance in Flanders (28th September to 11th November 1918), and took part in three major actions during October 1918.
The War Diary for the 17th (Service) Battalion (1st South East Lancashire) Lancashire Fusiliers records the following:
The Battle of Ypres (28th September to 2nd October 1918)
2 October 1918 - West of WERVICQ AMERICA CABt
The Battle of Courtrai (14th to 19th October 1918)
14 October 1918 Front Line
Captures:- 100 prisoners, 6 field guns, 2 trench morters
and 16 Machine guns.
The action of Tieghem (31st October 1918)
31 October 1918 AVELGHEM
Following the award of his military medal, Arthur was granted his second period of leave to the UK, from the 17th November to 1st December 1918. He returned to France until the 16th January 1919 when he moved back to the UK for demobilization. His address was given as 42 Longridge Street, Longsight, Manchester.
His British War and Victory Medals were issued from
Preston Medal Office in January 1922.