This Christmas, I believe, will be your last in France. That the next may find you Home again, safe and happy, and with your loved ones, is my most earnest wish. The war is drawing to a close. Your many trials and privations will soon be forgotten. The horrors of this war will soon become to you a memory, dimmed by happier things to come. But the glory of this war, though some day a memory too, can never fade.
(Gen. Clark to The Listening Post, 2 Nov 1918)
Robert Percy Clark was a Vancouver businessman, investor, real estate agent and capitalist. He was born in London, England on 17 April 1874. He worked on the London Stock Exchange and volunteered to fight in the Boer War. He later immigrated to British Columbia, where he pursued various gold mining enterprises. He served in the 5th and 50th Regiments under Arthur Currie. As part of the First Contingent of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, Clark became staff-officer to Currie with the 2nd Brigade.
On 19 March 1916, Currie selected Clark to replace Lieutenant Colonel Fisher of the troubled 14th Battalion. Clark commanded the Royal Montreal Regiment until 10 January 1917, when he transferred to the 2nd Battalion. On 6 October 1918, he was promoted to command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade.
In this fight for Freedom and for Right, you have given freely, and of the best you have. When we go Home there will be great gaps in our ranks, for many brave men who crossed the ocean with us lie on a hundred battlefields along this Western Front. But the memory of them, too, we shall take home with us. They have not died in vain.
He died in Vancouver on 8 April 1932. Currie eulogized his friend as a “fine soldier. He possessed a happy enthusiastic spirit which was invaluable in times of stress. He was one of those men who could make brick without straw. He was very popular with all ranks overseas…”
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