Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force
Died 9th April 1917 aged 25
Private A. Clark – Can. Ex. Force
Andrew Clark was a son of Andrew Clark, shepherd, and Elsie Jaffrey who married at Fintry in 1887. He was born at Ythanbank Cottage, Dyce on 9 March 1892. In 1901, the Clarks were living at Pond Cottage, Torphins. There were four children – Mary aged 13, and three brothers, Alfred, Andrew and Alexander aged 11, 9 and 6 respectively. As a young man he emigrated to Canada, and following the outbreak of war he enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force at Belleville, Ontario as a Private in the Canadian (West Ontario) Regiment (18th Bn. No.412204) on 15 February 1915, giving his peacetime occupation as “labourer”. At the time of joining up, his mother was living at Torphins. His attestation paper states that he had previously served 3 years in the Scottish Horse, a territorial regiment which had a depot at Torphins.
The 18th were an infantry battalion forming part of the 4th Infantry Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Division who were among the Four Divisions of the Canadian Corps deployed, as part of the Arras Offensive, to capture Vimy Ridge, a strategically important escarpment which had been under German control since the invasion in 1914. They were part of the main assault beginning on 9 April 1917, and after days of fierce fighting and very heavy casualties the ridge was captured by the Canadians by the evening of 12 April. Clark died on the first day of the assault. His death was posted in the Aberdeen Evening Express 4 May 1917 – “Killed in action on 9th April, Private Andrew Clark, Canadians, second son of Mr and Mrs Clark, Chapelwell, Learney, Torphins, aged 25 years. He is buried at Nine Elms Military Cemetery, Thelus.