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Archibald, James Duncan

We regret to announce the death of Lieut. Duncan Archibald of wounds received in action on July 19th.

As a student at King's College he held the Sambrooke Scholarship in Science, and gave promise of a brilliant and distinguished career. At the outbreak of the war, however, he was among the first of the O.T.C. to apply for a commission in the army, and was gazetted to the Essex Regiment in September, 1914, and in June of the following year obtained his full Lieutenancy.

Details have come to hand as to the manner of his death. A brother officer writes: "At 1.30 a.m. Wednesday morning, the 18th July, his battalion was ordered to ? to retake ? , and it was in the fierce fighting in this wood he was wounded." From the first the wound was recognised as serious, and while there was a hope that he might recover, it was a slender one.

Of his death the Rev. J.M.S. Walker, the Church of England Chaplain writes: "He did not suffer much, but was extremely weak. He died about 3 p.m. His pluck to the last well befitted the noble sacrifice that he has made; now he rests well."

His last act before he died was to write to his father. It is a pathetic little letter. As one reads it one plainly sees it cost him no little effort. It seems almost too sacred to print, but all who knew him and feel his death as a personal loss, will be glad to read it. "My Dear Father, I got hit on the day before yesterday, but am getting on quite well now. I am at the Casualty Clearing Station, but hope to get moved to a General Hospital soon, and then back to England. Love from Duncan." His last thoughts were of those he loved, and we can think of him as the pure, unselfish, true Christian soldier who died fighting for what he felt was a righteous cause.

(With acknowledgements to the "Presbyterian Church Magazine," Palmers Green.) King's College Review Dec. 1916

Biographical

Surname(s)Archibald
First name(s)James Duncan
Family detailsSon of Andrew H. & Mary Pauline Archibald of Summerfield, Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dept / courseFaculty of Engineering
Military unitEssex Regiment 10th Bttn
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsFrance and Flanders July 1915 - July 1916
Date of death20 July 1916
Age at death21
Rank at deathLieutenant
Place of deathDelville Wood
Cause of deathMortally wounded in leading his company in a counter-attack against Delville Wood
Burial placeLa Neuville British Cemetery Corbie
Commemoration(s)King's College London Chapel
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; University of London OTC 1914-1919

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Archibald, James Duncan
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