838717 Sgt. Edward Henry Clark states on his attestation papers that he was born in Islington, England, on October 9th, 1897.

At the time of his attestation he was an 18 year old student living in Thornbury and listed his sister, Daisy, who lived in the adjoining community of Clarksburg, as his next-of-kin.

Records do not show an Edward or Daisy Clark, of the approximate age, living in Canada at the time of the 1911 Census. Immigration records do however show an Edward and Daisy Clark, both 12 years of age, arriving in Canada on The Tunisian in 1911. Given these facts, the Clarks where in all likelihood "Home Children"; a name given to those children who were often forced to migrate from the British Isles in an effort to give orphaned and / or impoverished children a better life in one of the British Dominions.

Upon arrival both children were initially taken in by Miss McPherson's Boys Home, located in Stratford, Ontario. From there it appears they were placed in separate homes, although the homes were located close by. This in all probability is how both Edward and Daisy ended up in Collingwood Township a couple of years before hostilities broke out.

For many Home Children military service was a means of returning to England and if my research is correct, Edward lied about his age to enlist, for immigration records put Edward's age around 15 at the time of his enlistment. Again this is highly likely as many Home Children did the same in an effort to return to their former homes.

Regardless of his personal history, Edward attested to the 147th Battalion on January 28th, 1916, and was assigned to "C" Company under the command of Captain Dobie.

Billeted locally over the remainder of the winter, the 147th Battalion mobilized in Owen Sound in the spring of 1916 and left for training at Camp Niagara. As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain on November 14th, 1916, on the S.S. Olympic.

On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion. On March 7th, 1917, Edward was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. and served with the unit during the Battle of Arras, a battle that saw the Canadian Corps storm Vimy Ridge.

During his service Edward obtained the rank of Sergeant prior to transferring to the Royal Flying Corps as a Cadet, from where he was discharged on October 1st, 1919, three months after the Treaty of Versailles was signed. It is unknown if Edward returned to Canada after the war. What is known is his name does not appear on the backside of the Revanna Cenotaph, which is where the names of those Collingwood Townships soldiers who survived the war are etched. If my hypothesis is correct, as a Home Child, Edward's departure from his foster home wasn't noticed by the community and thus his service is not remembered locally.

Although the truth of his life may never be known, Edward Henry Clark's service during the war will be remembered on this site.

Biography credit and many thanks extended to George Auer