In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


Gavin Christie Clark


Lieutenant (g), O-14020, RCNVR


Lieutenant-Commander, RCN(R)


Born: 05 May 1922, Toronto, Ontario


Died: 09 Mar 2019


CLARK, Gavin Christie - Born in Toronto, and passing away peacefully in his 96th year, Gavin is lovingly remembered by his adoring wife of 71 years, Shirley (nee Brown), his loving children Sharon Shannon (Michael), Deborah Chant (Murray, deceased), Christie (Pamela) and Kevin (Toni). Affectionately known to his admiring grandchildren as “Skipper”, he is remembered by Stephanie (Sean Finlayson) and Laura Clark, and Jamie, Peter (Janna) and Sarah Clark. Gavin was dear brother to Diana Gillespie, deceased (Alastair, deceased), Ian (Nancy) and Sheila.


Gavin was born and raised in Toronto, attended Upper Canada College, and entered engineering school at the University of Toronto as a proud Alpha Delta Phi in 1940. However, shortly thereafter, with the war in full swing, Gavin attended Royal Roads Naval Officer’s School in Vancouver, and subsequently took command of Q085 (Fairmile), making him one of the youngest “Captains” in the Canadian navy at age 19. He spent the next four years patrolling and escorting supply convoys during the Battle of the Atlantic. Gavin held a true love of the navy and subsequently throughout the rest of his life, attended naval officer conferences across the country, wearing his uniform and medals with pride.


Gavin joined Toronto-based Rolph Clark Stone Ltd., a printing and lithographing company, founded by his grandfather and rose to the position of Executive Vice President. During his time at RCS, Gavin attended Harvard’s School of Business. Later he pursued a career in education, becoming Dean of Arts and later Dean of Business at Seneca College.


With a passion for country life, Gavin and Shirley, early in their marriage moved to King City, north of Toronto where they raised Bull Mastiffs and rode with the Toronto and North York Hunt. Later, after years back in Toronto, they retired to the Pretty River Valley, just southwest of Collingwood, Ontario, where he and Shirley spent many wonderful years continuing their love of horses, hiking and the outdoors. Eventually these days were followed by Thornbury and Collingwood before returning to live in Toronto.


Gavin was always most comfortable on the water and he enjoyed a life-long skilled passion for sailing; spending many wonderful summers on “Whisky Run” at the RCYC, with sailing trips in the Thousand Islands, the North channel, the west coast of Canada and the Hebrides in Scotland. He was proud of his Scottish heritage and was a popular partner at Scottish country dancing events.


We would like to extend our gratitude to the palliative care team at Sunnybrook Hospital, for the wonderful care he received. A private family service will be held. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Veteran’s Comfort Fund, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Room KGW-01, Toronto, Ontario M4N 3M5 or a charity of your choice.  (Globe and Mail 10 Mar 2019)


Ships served in:

* Listed as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Jun 1941)


HMCS ROYAL ROADS - Appointed to ROYAL ROADS 02 Jan 1942 as a Prob. SLt, RCNVR (Navy List Jan 1942)

ML Q085 - Appointed to Q085 25 May 1942 as a SLt, RCNVR (seniority 22 Dec 1941) (Navy List Sep 1942)

ML Q085 - Appointed to Q085 22 Oct 1942 as a SLt, RCNVR, Commanding Officer (Navy List Aug 1943)

(seniority 22 Dec 1942) (Navy List May 1944)

HMCS VENTURE - Appointed to VENTURE 08 Mar 1944, Staff of Captain ML, as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List May 1944)

HMCS ROYAL MOUNT - Appointed to ROYAL MOUNT 04 Aug 1944 as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List Nov 1944)

HMCS CORNWALLIS - Appointed to CORNWALLIS as a Lt, RCNVR (Navy List May 1945 - partial list)

* Demobilized 05 Oct 1945 (The Nauticapedia)

* Retired List as a Lt, RCN(R) (seniority 22 Dec 1942) (Navy List Apr 1946)

HMCS YORK - Appointed to YORK 15 Aug 1946 as a Lt (g), RCN(R) (Navy List Oct 1946)

* Retired List as a Lt (g), RCN(R) (seniority 22 Dec 1942) (Navy List Jul 1948)

* Appointed LCdr (on the Retired List) (seniority 22 Dec 1950) (Navy List Jul 1952)

HMCS YORK (Retired List) as a LCdr, RCN(R) (Navy List Jul 1955)

* Last noted in the Retired List at HMCS YORK as a LCdr, RCN(R) (Navy List Jan 1960)


Gavin Clark on an unknown ship

Credit: Naval Museum of Quebec



Crossed the Bar Index