Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthFebruary 16, 1888
Place of BirthPeterborough
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. S. Jane Clark, mother, 686 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England
Trade / CallingRailway Fireman
Service Details
Regimental Number50539
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionCanadian Red Cross Officers Hospital, London
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Army Medical Corps
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentKenora, Ontario
Date of EnlistmentMay 12, 1915
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceGreat Britain
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 18, 1955
Age at Death67
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Clark, Charles Alfred

‘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

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photos courtesy of Stan Clark


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