Biography & Photos

Clarence Elliot Young, my great-great Uncle, was born 11 September 1893 in Stratford, Ontario. He was the fifth child of my great grandparents, Walter Clarence and Fanny Racey Young. From the turn of the century, they were living in Brampton, Ontario where Walter was manager of the Union Bank of Canada.

Clarence, or Car as he was known, was educated at Brampton High School and subsequently was employed as a clerk with the Canadian Bank of Commerce from 6 January 1911. When the census was undertaken in that year Car was resident, and presumably employed in, the town of Cayuga, Ontario.

By 1914, Car was working at the branch in Tillsonburg, Ontario. He joined the 34th Canadian Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) in that year although he was not attested as a private soldier until 24 February 1915. After training at various locations in Ontario (primarily London and Guelph), he sailed overseas in October 1915 with the 34th Battalion on the S.S. California. He was briefly garrisoned with his battalion at Bramshott, Hampshire.

Like the majority of CEF units, the 34th Bn was broken up for reinforcements to front line battalions. Uncle Car, promoted Lance Corporal 1 March 1915, volunteered with a number of other men to join the 5th Battalion, The Canadian Mounted Rifles (5 CMR) in France. He was promoted Corporal 10 June 1916 and subsequently attained the rank of Sergeant on 21 January 1918.

In brief, he served with 5 CMR from Spring 1916 until being evacuated with shell shock on 11 April 1917, the third day of the battle of Vimy Ridge. He subsequently convalesced at a military hospital in Northampton before joining the Canadian Trench Warfare School at Bexhill-on-Sea in Sussex, 1917-18. He returned to Canada around January 1919, possibly on the S.S. Olympic. He was demobilised 4 February 1919.

Dorothy Luela Potter
I do not know a great detail of his of his subsequent history. He worked at the Charter Publishing Company in Brampton for a period after his return from overseas. He married Dorothy Luela Potter a nurse (also from Brampton) in December 1926 whilst working in Toronto as an accountant. He later moved to western Canada and worked as Secretary to the Royalite Oil Company in Calgary, Alberta. He and Dorothy raised 4 children: Peter, Robert, William and Anne. Dorothy unexpectedly passed away in 1937 and Car died from a ruptured appendix in May 1945.


Two scanned photos of Uncle Car, both undated:

1. Seated wearing the rank of Corporal.

  • He has one wound badge at the bottom of his left sleeve.
  • His right epaulette has a white slip-on; significance not known.
  • There appears to be a badge above the chevrons on his right sleeve; this may be the medics badge in my collection.
  • The sleeve of the person obscured in the top left has what appears to be braid on his bottom left sleeve; an officer?
  • With his rank, it was probably taken in 1917 or 1918.

2. With the rank of Sergeant.

  • The photo is labelled: 'American Galleries 14 High St Rhyl'. Probably taken 1918/19, before returning to Canada.
3. I recently obtained this image from Paul, taken from Martin Bluethner's photo album. 

  • Car is right and Martin Bluethner on the left. 
  • This was taken, as per the reverse, at Bexhill, Sussex on 23 Jun 1918, when Car, a Sergeant, was based at the Canadian Trench Warfare School. 
  • Martin, a friend with whom Car served in both the 34th Bn and 5CMR, wears the white band of an officer cadet (he was subsequently successfully commissioned in 5CMR).

4. Another recently obtained photograph, from Car's Great grandson Zack.  

  • The writing, bottom right corner, probably is 'Car in Haslemere'; 
  • If taken at Haslemere, a town in Surrey close to Bramshott Camp, this would date the photo to between Nov 15 and Apr 16. 
  • He would be a Sergeant, still in the 38th Bn CEF.


  1. My Grandfather. My mother Anne, 75 this week is, the youngest of Car's children, pre-deceaced by her three older brothers, Peter, Robert and William. J.A. Hart feel free to contact if you would like to know more.

  2. The time of world war 1 and world war 2 had brought the world with really heart breaking and shocking stories. it is one of my favorite topic to deal with and i liked your blog very much