Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthJuly 8, 1894
Place of BirthSomerset
CountryEngland
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinT.H. English, father, Upton Lane, Barnwood, Gloucestershire England
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number922589
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion200th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentAugust 28, 1991
Date of EnlistmentJune 12, 1916
Age at Enlistment22
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathAugust 28, 1991
Age at Death97

English, Clarence Robert

Clarence Robert Marian English was born on 08 July 1894 in Somerset, England. His father, Theodore Hewitt English worked as florist, nurseryman, horticultural commission agent and horticultural auctioneer. Theodore had married in 1884. His wife’s name was Pattie (1891 census) or Martha (probate records). Other children of this couple included: Ellen Vera (b. 1887), Theodore John(b. 1888), Wilfred Howard (b. 1889), Beattie Violet (b. 1892). They were living in Clapton, Somerset in 1891. Clarence’s mother died on 25 March 1899 in Gloucester. His father remarried Rebecca Chapman the next year on 02 April 1900 in Gloucester. They had two more children – Dorothy Alma (b. 1902) and Kathleen Grace (b. 1905). In 1911 the family was living in Barnwood, Gloucester and Clarence was assisting his father in his trade of horticultural auctioneer.

Clarence’s brother, Wilfred, had immigrated to Canada in 1908 and settled into farming at Glenella, Manitoba. Clarence followed him arriving in Halifax aboard the Royal George in April 1914.

With WW1 raging in Europe, Clarence enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, signing his attestation papers on 12 June 1916 at Camp Hughes, Manitoba. He was 21 years old, single and listed farming as his occupation. Placed with the 200th Battalion he trained at Camp Hughes until heading to England aboard the S.S. Megantic in May 1917. Upon his arrival in England Clarence was taken on strength by the 11th Reserve Battalion and then, in November 1917, by the 18th Reserve Battalion. On 08 December, 1917 he transferred to the 107th Pioneer Canadian Battalion and was sent to France. By March of 1918 Clarence was with his unit in the field. Pioneer battalions maintained channels of communication and transport, dealt with the movement and handling of munitions, built and repaired various structures and fortifications. In May 1918 Clarence was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Engineer Battalion which dealt with similar issues – construction of defences, sanitation systems, water supplies, and bridging.  He served until becoming sick with albuminuria and nephritis (symptoms of kidney disease). Clarence was returned to England in September 1918 and was hospitalized until February 1919. He returned to Canada in April 1919 and received his official discharge due to demobilization on 26 May 1919 in Winnipeg.

The 1921 Canadian Census shows Clarence and his brother Wilfred (who had served with the Canadian Army Service Corp during WW1) back on the farm in Glenella. In 1922 Clarence traveled to Chicago, Illinois looking for work. He stayed there until 1925 when he returned to Canada. He was living at the YMCA in Kenora, Ontario when he joined the Legion in 1926. From there he headed west to Kamloops, BC. In 1928 he spent time in Portland, Oregon but soon returned to British Columbia.

On 21 October, 1933 Clarence married Amy Bird in Westbank, B.C. They were living in Victoria in 1940 and Clarence was employed as a gardener. By 1953 he had retired and they lived in Nanaimo. Amy passed away on 19 May 1963 in Victoria and is interred at Royal Oak. Clarence moved to Oliver, B.C. where he resided until his death.


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