111092 Cpl. Stanley Otis Clark was born in Rothesay Parish, Kings County, New Brunswick, on July 1st, 1890, to Otis J. and Hattie Clark. Stanley had a sister, Grace, who was a year younger.

When Stanley was only two years old his mother passed away at the young age of 31. His father soon remarried and Stanley and his sister were brought up by Bessie Clark. There is some discrepancy exactly when Stanley volunteered but it was either on February 4th or March 30th, 1915. Either way, this 25 year old single clerk with no previous military experience volunteered in Amherst, Nova Scotia, to serve with the 6th Canadian Mounted Rifles.

Stanley stood 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighed 129 lbs. and was described as having a medium complexion, gray eyes and dark brown hair. He was assigned regimental number 111092.

Stanley trained for many months with the 6th CMR before arriving in France on October 24th, 1915. He then spent some time in the 1st and 2nd Field Ambulance stations around December 14, 1915, with a case of conjunctivitis, or as it is more commonly known, "pink eye".

On December 22nd, 1915, the 3rd Canadian Division was formed under the command of Major-General Mercer. The existing six regiments of the CMR were converted into four battalions of infantry, the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th CMR, and those battalions were combined together into the 8th Brigade under Brig.-Gen. V.A.S. Williams. With the reorganization the 6th CMR was broken apart and on January 2nd, 1916, Stanley became part of the 4th CMR.

In March, Stanley trained for the dangerous job of being a wire cutter, which likely meant he spent many nights creeping around the German wire.

Stanley was granted leave from May 24th to June 1st, 1916, and arrived back just in time to take part in the 4th CMR's darkest day of the war. On June 2nd, the Canadian 3rd Division front, south-east of Ypres, near Sanctuary Wood, which included the men of the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles, with the 1st CMR on their left, and the P.P.C.L.I. to their left, were surprised by a sudden and vicious artillery attack on their positions around Mount Sorrel. The five hour artillery attack culminated in three mines being sprung in front of the 4th CMR line, and this was quickly followed up by a German infantry attack. The 4th CMR suffered the highest losses, with many men killed (most of whom were lost without trace in the rain of steel and explosives), or were taken prisoner. Major-General Mercer and Brig.-Gen. V.A.S. Williams were both killed in the attack. The "Battle for Mount Sorrel" raged for a further 13 days, culminating in the loss of approximately 10,000 British, Canadian and German men, before the line returned more or less to its pre-attack position.

Immediately after the battle, the 4th CMR pulled hundreds of men from the reserve battalions in England to rebuild their strength. There had been 10 Corporals lost in the battle for Mount Sorrel and it was as part of this rebuilding that Stanley was promoted to Corporal on June 8th.

On September 8th, 1916, Stanley and the rest of 4th CMR moved away from the Mount Sorrel area near Ypres to billets in Franqueville, on the Somme. The Battle of the Somme had started when the British attacked on July 1st, but there was still heavy fighting going on even in September. On the 15th, Stanley took part in the attack on Courcelette and again the 4th CMR took heavy losses, including 34 men killed and 52 wounded. On October 1st the 4th CMR took part in the further attack to take Regina trench. 66 men of the 4th CMR gave their life that day and Corporal Stanley Otis Clark was one of them.

Like far too many of the fallen men of WWI, Stanley's body was never recovered after the battle for Regina Trench and it is because of this that he has no individual grave marker. After the war, in 1922, the French government offered 250 acres of land on Vimy Ridge to Canada as a thank you for the Canadian contributions to the war. Canada engaged sculptor Walter Allward to design a monument that was built on the highest point on Vimy Ridge, which was unveiled on July 26th, 1936. Vimy Ridge is the greatest of all of Canada's European war memorials, soaring high above the ridge.

This uniquely designed piece of architecture contains the names of the 11,285 men who fell in France but have no known resting place. It has twin towers, one with a maple leaf representing Canada and one with a fleur-de-lis representing France. The main inscription on the memorial reads: "To the valour of their countrymen in the Great War and in memory of their sixty thousand dead this monument is raised by the people of Canada". The monument underwent an extensive restoration to be rededicated for the 90th anniversary of the Battle for Vimy Ridge, on April 9th, 2007. Stanley's name is carved into the walls of the monument along with 122 other men of the 4th CMR.

Credit and thanks go to Bryan Joyce for this detailed biography.