Archibald was born on 25th September 1885 to parents Thomas and Mary (nee Mather) in Black Rod Charley, Wigan, Lancashire. His father was a retired Chemist, his mother an elementary school teacher with a 24 year age gap; Archibald was one of four children to Thomas and Mary but Thomas also had older children, of which two lived with the family on the 1901 census, slightly younger in age to their step-mother. Archibald was aged 15, working as a steam engine maker/fitter and the family lived at 2 Ash Street in Bury, Lancashire. Sadly Thomas died, aged 70 in the December of 1901.
10 years later, recorded in the 1911 census, Archibald was 25 and boarded with a small family of four at 16 Grundale Road, Port Sunlight, Cheshire. He worked with the head of the household, both working in the engineering department of a soap making factory.
That same Summer of 1911, on the 5th ‘August, Archibald married Polly Hague at the Weslyan Methodist Church in Union Street, Bury, witnessed by two of his siblings.
Life settled for the couple and they had a daughter, Mabel Elizabeth in the Spring of 1912, but as the First World War had not abated by Christmas 1914, Archibald joined the Navy for the duration of hostilities on 23rd January 1915 as an Acting Engine Room Artificer, recorded as 5’6” tall, with brown hair, grey eyes and an scar in the centre of his forehead.
He trained at HMS VICTORY II until 8th February 1915 and was posted to HMS VANGUARD where he stayed until 1917. He rose to E.R.A 4th Class on 8th January 1916 and 3rd Class on 11th May 1916. He was aboard during the Battle of Jutland and was due leave the week following the explosion.
His Star, Victory and British medals were awarded to his widow after his death, aged 32, along with his pension and proceeds of his will.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 - FreeBMD
1901 & 1911 England Census
Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services, 1848-1939 National Archives Royal Navy Registers of Seamen's Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 1041
British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960 National Archives Admiralty: Naval Casualties, Indexes, War Grave Rolls and Statistics Book, First World War.; Class: ADM 242; 009 (1914 - 1919)
General Register Office
Manchester, England, Non-Conformist Marriages, 1758-1937 - Ancestry.com
National Archives Admiralty and predecessors: Office of the Director General of the Medical Department of the Navy and predecessors: Service Registers and Registers of Deaths and Injuries. Registers of Reports of Deaths
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995
Photo courtesy of KLR Research