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Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus.

Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB 0099 KCLMA Archer
ARCHER, Capt John (1871-1954)
Level of description
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
4 boxes or 0.04m3


Name of creator(s)

Archer, John, 1871-1954, Captain x Archer, Jack

Administrative / Biographical history

John Archer, often known as Jack, was born 1871; enlisted with Rifle Brigade, 1889; joined 2 Battalion, Rifle Brigade; stationed in Ireland, 1890-1895; Sergeant, 1894; appointed Armourer Sergeant, Mounted Infantry, 1896; posted to Mashonaland, 1896-97; returned to 2 Battalion, Rifle Brigade and posted to Malta, Egypt, the Sudan and Crete, 1897-1899; fought in the Battle of Omdurman, 1898; Colour Sergeant, 1899; fought in the Second Boer War, South Africa, 1899-1902, including Siege of Ladysmith; posted to Egypt, the Sudan and India, 1902-1908; appointed Regimental Sergeant Major, 1 Battalion, King's African Rifles, 1908; posted to Nyasaland (Malawi) and Somaliland, 1908-1914; Sergeant Major, A Company, 1 Battalion Rifle Brigade, British Expeditionary Force, 1914; wounded and captured at Battle of Cambrai, Aug 1914; POW, Merseburg Camp, Germany and Scheveningen Camp, Holland, 1914-1918; retired from Army, 1919; worked for the prison service, Nyasaland (Malawi), 1919-1939; commissioned as 2 Lieutenant, East African Army Service Corps, 1939; worked in training and recruitment; retired with rank of Honorary Captain, 1947; died 1954.

Archival history

The papers were given to Professor Colin Baker by the Archer family.Immediate source of acquisition:Presented to the Centre by the family, Oct 2003, and Prof Colin Baker, on behalf of the family, Aug 2005.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Papers of Capt John Archer, 1889-1938, including: diaries, 1889-1896, 1901, 1908-1910, 1919, 1921-1922, 1925 and 1938; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues detailing his military experiences, 1893-1913; papers relating to Archer's career, including notebook containing details of service record, examinations passed, certificates gained and financial accounts, 1889-1894; list of warrant and non-commissioned officers at School of Musketry, Hythe, Oct 1895; printed map of Mashonaland, 1896; issues of The Rhodesia Herald, 1896, concerning the Mashonaland Uprising; general instructions for non-commissioned officers, 1897; timetable for movement of Archer's unit from Omdurman, 1898; poem 'The Night Attack on Surprise Hill', by Pte J Gibbons, 1899; sketch map of Lydenburg and the surrounding countryside, South Africa, by R Verney, 2 Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade, [1899]; lithograph map of Cairo, War Office, 1901; special orders announcing proclamation of peace, June 1902; Intelligence summaries, Jan and April 1902; order of service for Military Thanksgiving Service for the Restoration of Peace, Pretoria, Jun 8 1902; order of service for Coronation Day, 26 Jun 1902; parade service for visit of the Amir of Afghanistan to Agra, Jan 1907, with map showing locations of troop billets and plan of organisation of troop review; papers relating to Archer's time as POW, Germany and Holland, 1914-1918, and press cuttings, correspondence and reports relating to Archer's job as Superintendent of Prisons, Nyasaland, 1920-1936.Rifle and athletic meeting programmes, with press cuttings recording Archer's successes, 1898-1914. Photograph album showing manoeuvres, Malta, 1897; Crete, 1898; punitive raids on Transvaal farms, including taking Boer women into concentration camps, 1901; Middleburg and Groot Oliphant Camps, 1901-1902; views of Egypt including parades, inspections, sports and camps, 1902-1905; photographs of groups of POWs, Merseburg Camp and examples of paper money used in the Merseburg Camp, 1914-1919. Also copy of A Fine Chest of Medals: The Life of Jack Archer, Colin Baker (Mpemba Books: Cardiff, 2003).

System of arrangement

In sections as above.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archives and Information Management.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Box list available online and in the Reading Room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Katharine Higgon.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Oct 2007, updated 2016

Box List(s)

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This catalogue may contain links to external data sources as part of the W3C Semantic Web initiative.


  • Armed forces
  • Battle of Omburman (1898)
  • Boer War (1899-1902)
  • Concentration camps
  • Diaries
  • Humanitarian law
  • International conflicts
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Military organizations
  • Nonfiction
  • Peace
  • Peacekeeping
  • Primary documents
  • Prose
  • State security
  • War
  • War crimes
  • War prisoners
  • War victims
  • World War One (1914-1918)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • 1871-1954
  • Archer
  • Captain x Archer
  • Jack
  • John

Corporate names

  • Hythe
  • School of Musketry


  • Afghanistan
  • Agra
  • Cairo
  • Central Africa
  • Crete
  • Egypt
  • Gauteng
  • Greece
  • India
  • Malawi
  • Malta
  • Mashonaland
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Pretoria
  • South Africa
  • South Asia
  • Southern Africa
  • Southern Africa
  • Urban
  • Western Europe
  • Western Europe
  • Zimbabwe

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