26 May 1918: Pte William James Archbold

William James Archbold was born in Mackay, Queensland in january 1898.

Location of Mackay, Queensland in north eastern Australia (cc OpenStreetMap)

William, a farmer, enlisted, age 18 into the Australian Imperial Force on 21 February 1916 and embarked from Sydney (for the UK) on 22 December the same year. Training in the UK at Codford and Bulford, he spent a month in Parkhouse Military Hospital, Bulford. He underwent Field Punishment No 2 for 7 days in March 1917 for a misdemeanour in April.

His offence:

V.D.Hspt.P.House 28/3/17

While on active service conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, in that he attempted to wit an injection of 606.

And then in May he ‘absented himself from ranks w/o permission from 9.30am paraded and had to forfeit 2 days pay. 

William left England for France via Southampton on 4 December 1917 and joined his unit near the frontline in Belgium the following day. He joined his unit on the 9th.

During the German offensive of March 1918, his battalion was rushed southwards to help stem the tide of the German advance in front of Amiens where he was killed, near Villers Bretonneux, on 26 May 1918. He is now buried in Adelaide Cemetery, Villers Bretonneux.

Pte William James Archbold, 41st Bn Australian Imperial Force.

26 May 1918 killed in action 

Research by David O'Mara