Clarence Richard Young was born in Prince Edward County, Ontario, to a United Empire Loyalist family. A structural engineer by training, he was a lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering when the Great War broke out.
Major Young became an officer of the University’s contingent of the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps, serving on the staff of the School of Infantry at Niagara Camp. When the Polish Army began training at Niagara he became Adjutant at Camp Kościuszko, for which he was later honoured as Commander of the Order Polonia Restituta. In the articles Young wrote after the war, he commented on the Poles’ high spirits and patriotism as reflected in their songs and music. Proficient in the Polish language, Young maintained close ties with several Polish veterans and was an active member of the Toronto Branch of the Canadian Friends of Poland. In addition to his extensive consulting practice and a distinguished writing career, he served as Dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering.