|Date of Birth||January 8, 1893|
|Place of Birth||Perth Road Village, Loughborough Township, Frontenac County, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mother - Mrs. Ira (Mary) Darling - Inverary, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Clerk|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||8th Regiment Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||March 6, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||22|
|Theatre of Service||Canada|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||19790209|
|Age at Death||86|
|Buried At||Memory Gardens Cemetery, Swift Current, Saskatchewan|
Edward Victor Darling was an assistant secretary with the YMCA in Kenora when war broke out.
Born in Perth Road Village, Frontenac County, Ontario on January 8, 1893, his father Ira was a blacksmith by trade. When Edward was about six years old his family moved to the community of Inverary. The 1901 census lists an older brother, James, and two sisters, Lottie and Lulu. Edward completed his high school education in Inverary then attended a business college in Kingston. Following his graduation he was hired at the YMCA in Kenora.
Edward had served with the Prince of Wales Own Rifles (14th Regiment) in Kingston for six months prior to coming to Kenora and he returned home when his unit was called to active service in early 1915. He signed his attestation papers on March 6, 1915 in Ottawa.
According to a February newspaper report on his leaving Kenora, members of the 14th Regiment including Darling would be serving with the 4th Hussars Cavalry Regiment. For overseas service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force the unit was designated the 8th CMR (Canadian Mounted Rifles) on March 15, 1915 and was later broken up to provide reinforcements in the field.
Edward Darling did not go overseas with the 8th CMR. His military service ended on July 22, 1915 when he was discharged based on a purchased release from the army. Purchased release was a standard practice with the volunteer Canadian military, even during the war years until conscription began in 1917. It was usually granted without dispute if the soldier was needed at home. During the war it was granted as long as the soldier had not yet gone overseas and had served less than a year. It required the payment of $15, later raised to $50, to help cover some of the recruit’s training costs. Darling’s service file notes his release was granted based on a letter from his mother.
The following year, on February 9, 1916, he married Edith Elizabeth Hunter in Kingston, Ontario. The couple moved west to farm in the Wymark district, south of Swift Current, and they had five children: Audrey, Norma, Vivian, Bruce and Tom. In addition to farming Edward and Edith opened a resort in the nearby community of Lac Pelletier, called Darling’s Beach. In 1958 the couple retired and moved to Swift Current. Edward was a member of the Elks Lodge and he played tennis and badminton and enjoyed all sports. He also played bass horn in a band for many years.
In 1978 Edward and his wife moved to Radium Hot Springs in British Columbia. He passed at Foothills Hospital in Calgary on February 9, 1979, at age 86. He was predeceased by his brother James and his sisters Lottie and Lulu. His funeral was held in Swift Current four days later and he’s buried in Memory Gardens Cemetery. Edith died in 1984, at age 91, and she’s also buried at Memory Gardens.
by Bob Stewart and Becky Johnson
Photo of Edward and Edith courtesy of Buechner public family tree on ancestry.com.