Robert Clifford Darling

Plot V, Lot 89
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto

The defence of Ypres in Belgium was an absolute necessity if the Allies were going to stop the German troops advancing all the way to the English Channel. In the ensuing battle, during which more than 6000 Canadian troops were killed, twenty-seven-year-old Captain Robert Darling of the 48th Highlanders was seriously wounded when a bullet pierced a main artery. On March 23, 1915 he was evacuated to the military hospital in Amesbury, England. Less than a month later, on April 19, 1915, the young Torontonian died. His body was returned to his hometown and after a private service at the family home, 2 Dale Avenue in Rosedale, and public funeral at St. James’ Square Presbyterian Church on May 6, 1915, Darling was buried in a plot in Mount Pleasant Cemetery specially selected for its proximity to the graves of other fallen Highlanders, including that of Colonel Davidson, the unit’s first commanding officer (Plot V, Lot 126). Unlike the long standing tradition of burying military casualties near where they fell, Captain Darling was the first Canadian soldier in history to die on foreign soil and be subsequently returned to Canada for burial.

Mike Filey
Mount Pleasant Cemetery: An Illustrated Guide
Second Edition Revised and Expanded