A CANADIAN businessman has travelled to the Capital to launch an emotional search for the long-lost love of his Second World War veteran father.
James Clark, 68, is desperate for information about a woman called Mary with whom his father had a love affair in the early 1940s.
Sergeant Fraser Clark was part of the Royal Canadian Signal Corps during the conflict and took part in the D-Day landings.
He was stationed in England for two-and-a-half years but when granted leave he would take holidays at a Scottish family’s farm near Edinburgh.
It was there in his mid-20s that he met a young farmer’s daughter called Mary and began a relationship.
Despite returning to Canada following the war and having three sons with his wife, Mr Clark insisted his father never lost the memories of his Scottish girlfriend.
He believes they may have had a child together and has come to Scotland for the first time in his life in a bid to trace Mary or her surviving relatives.
He said: “My father was a quiet man and he was very reluctant to speak about his experiences during the war.
“However, at a family party to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in 1990 he had a few drinks and he told me about Mary.
“He remembered her very vividly and it was clear to me that she had stayed with him his whole life.
“She was locked in his memory and he spoke so fondly of her.
“He had met her while on rest and recuperation trips to Scotland when he stayed with a farming family.
“I know it was in the Edinburgh area but I don’t know any more details about Mary and her family.”
Sergeant Clark returned to his home near Winnipeg where he ran a farm after the war. He died at the age of 76 in 1994.
Mr Clark, who is an estate agent from Vancouver, has placed a public notice appealing for anyone with information about Mary to contact him.
He said: “Mary would in her 90s now but there might be relatives out there who remember her talking about the charming young Canadian soldier she met during the Second World War.
“I do sometimes wonder if I might have a half-brother or sister living out there somewhere.
“I would just love to meet Mary or her relatives just to let her know that my father never, ever forgot about her.
“It was a different time back then and after the war ended my father wouldn’t have had the option of staying in Scotland.
“He had met my mother before he left and he returned home to her.
“He didn’t keep Mary a secret and told my mother about her when he returned.
“I was stunned when I was first told about it and it has resonated with me all these years.
“I have come to Scotland for the first time and it would mean a lot to me if I could find out more about Mary and my father’s time in Scotland.”