|Date of Birth||February 16, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Peterborough|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. S. Jane Clark, mother, 686 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England|
|Trade / Calling||Railway Fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Canadian Red Cross Officers Hospital, London|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Army Medical Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||May 12, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||27|
|Theatre of Service||Great Britain|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||April 18, 1955|
|Age at Death||67|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
‘The Peterborough Boys’ was a name given to a group of young men from the Peterborough area of England who made their way to live in Kenora. Many of them were single, working for the railway and living at the Y.M.C.A. in Kenora. They spent countless hours together in their spare time to socialize and explore their new community and eventually the Lake of the Woods. The group of young men that joined in to contribute what they could in sports, clubs and church activities had their carefree life changed with the start of World War One.
Charles Alfred Clark was born February 16, 1888 in Peterborough, England. He was educated in Peterborough and furthered his education in London, England. His parents and a sister remained in England. In 1910 Charles immigrated to Canada along with a friend, Ernie Angood. He had been working for the GNR in England and got work with the CPR in Kenora as a railway fireman.
Most of ‘the Peterborough Boys’ joined up to fight in WW1, as did Charlie Clark. A group of these young men took the train to Winnipeg when a call came for more recruits. Charlie signed his papers on May 12, 1915 and was attached to the No. 1 Field Ambulance Corps. His unit arrived in England in July of 1915 and was stationed at Monks Morton. While there Charlie injured his left knee accidentally while playing football. He was put on ‘clerk’s pay’ and in May of 1916 was transferred to work at the Shorncliffe Military Hospital. In September of 1916 he was appointed Acting Corporal and transferred to the offices of the Assistant Director of Medical Services (ADMS) in London. Charlie received two promotions in 1917. He was appointed Acting Sergeant in June and Acting Staff Sergeant in November. In April of 1919 Charlie was posted to the Canadian Red Cross Officer’s Hospital in London. He returned to Canada in July of 1919 receiving his official discharge on 26 July 1919 due to demobilization.
Charles then returned to his home town of Kenora and went back to work with the C.P.R.
Travelling to England in 1926 he married Elsie Rudd of Great Barr, England on February 2, 1926. Charles brought his bride back to Kenora where they remained to make their new home. Charles and Elsie had 4 sons, Charles (Jr), Kenneth, Robert and Stanley. Working for the Canadian Pacific Railroad he made his way up to become an engineer and retired in 1940. Charles was active in his community joining the staff of the Department of Indian Affairs, being a member of the St. Alban’s Anglican Church, a member of the Canadian Legion Branch #12 and also the Oddfellows Lodge in Kenora. After the 2nd World War Charles took up a special interest in the pension allowance to help returning Veterans.
Charles passed away on April 18, 1955 after a brief illness at the Kenora General Hospital at 66 years of age. He was survived by his wife, Elsie, his four sons and a sister Charlotte Barney in England. The funeral service for Charles, a highly respected citizen of Kenora for 45 years, was held in the Chapel of the Brown Funeral Home with Reverend Murray Wyatt officiating. A graveside service was held to honour Charles by his brethren of the Oddfellows.
Charles is buried in the Angel Crest Block at the Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario. His wife Elsie lived till age 72 and was buried beside her husband in 1975.
By Linda Pelletier
photos courtesy of Stan Clark