Next of Kin: Beatrice Arnold, Mary Street, Goderich, Ontario
Personal Details: 5 ft. 7 1/2 in., fair complexion, brown eyes, brown hair, Church of England
Born in Paddington, England, Mark Frederick Arnold was the youngest son of Richard and Emma Arnold. He married Beatrice Lavina Paul on July 29, 1900, and the marriage produced two children; Frederick Thomas and Beatrice. The family emigrated to Canada in June 1907 aboard the Lake Manitoba, and settled on Wells Street in Goderich, Ontario, where Mark secured work with an organ manufacturer, likely the Goderich Organ Company.
Mark enlisted early in the war, signing up with the 18th Battalion in Clinton, Ontario on October 24, 1914. The unit sailed from Halifax on the S.S. Grampian on April 18, 1915 and arrived in England on April 29th. On June 17th a medical board found him unfit for service with an infantry battalion due to a fallen instep. They recommended he be transferred to some corps where he would not have to do much walking. On two occasions during the second half of 1915 his pay was reduced for being absent without leave. Mark spent a short time working as a cook at Risborough Barracks, Shorncliffe in late October 1915. He was then transferred to the 36th Battalion.
On May 24, 1916, Mark was once again before the medical board who recommended four weeks of physical training. In July 1916 he was found recovered from a skin condition, deemed to be fit for duty by the board, and returned to the 36th Battalion.
On January 4, 1917, Mark was transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion at West Sandling. In mid-February he was again transferred, and proceeded to the Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre at Crowborough. By March he was transferred to the 18th Battalion, Western Ontario Regiment, and proceeded overseas, arriving in Havre, France on May 10, 1917. He joined his unit already in the field on June 12th.
On August 9, 1917, the 18th Battalion was positioned in the Laurent sector of the front, northwest of Lens, France. Early in the morning two parties were sent out on a trench raid in conjunction with the 20th and 21st Battalions. The two raiding parties consisted of 36 men from “C” Company and 65 men from “D” Company. At 4:15 am an artillery and machine gun barrage began and lasted for 4 minutes. It provided a protective barrier for the two raiding parties who were to be in enemy territory for no more than 26 minutes. The raid, which penetrated 100 yards into German held territory, produced valuable information about the enemy trench system, wire, and dugouts.
During the raid 24 were men were wounded and 4 killed – Private Mark Arnold was one of these men. The news of his death reached his widow and daughter in Goderich, as well as his son, Fred, who was serving with the 122nd Forestry Battalion in Scotland.