James Archer


Private 43047, 10th Battalion Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire Regiment)

Killed in Action 30th March 1918 aged 19

No Known Grave Commemorated Arras Memorial, France

Son of Richard and Sarah Archer

Lived 30, Tattersfield Yard, Heckmondwike

James was born on 15th June 1898 and baptised on the 15th July at Holy Innocents Church at Thornhill Lees, the son of Sarah nee Senior of Hopton and Richard Archer, a Book Keeper of Ravensthorpe. His parents had married at Mirfield Parish Church on 17th March 1877. James was the youngest of their six children, only three of whom had survived into adulthood; they were their daughter Mabeth born 1881, Richard Senior born 1888, and James Bartholomew born 1898. Their father was recorded as a Manufacturer in 1898 and as a Rag Merchant and employer in 1901, but he died in 1905 aged 49.

The 1911 census records that Sarah Archer was living at 125, Staincliffe Road, Dewsbury Moor with her three children and two grandchildren. Her only daughter, Mabeth aged 30, had married Lister Kilburn and they had two children; Richard Senior Archer, the eldest son, aged 22, was working as a Rag Warehouseman; and 12 year old James was at school. By 1915 Sarah Archer, had moved to 30, Kilpin Hill.

James’s British Army Service record was part of series 363, the ‘burnt documents’, damaged during enemy action on London in 1940. No newspaper account of his army career has yet been found. It is known that he enlisted as Private 43047 in the West Yorkshire Regiment in Dewsbury.

The Battalion records for March 1918 report that “they completed relief of the 7th Norfolk Regiment at 5am on the 28th March 1918 near Boozincourt. At 12 noon the enemy attacked but were driven off by rifle and Lewis gun fire. During the afternoon the Battalion dug and reoccupied posts along the road.” “At 6pm on the 29th some posts were lost and the Battalion had 15 casualties”. Further attacks were driven off. “The Battalion remained in the front line until 31st March when they were relieved by the 7th Lincolnshire Regiment. The Battalion went into reserve at Hinnencourt”.

James was killed in action on 30th March 1918 and his remains were never found. He is remembered on the Arras Memorial on Bay 4, Course C, Stone 7. Richard is named as the next of kin at 30, Tattersfield Yard, Kilpin Hill, Heckmondwike. The 1931 Electoral Roll and the 1939 Register confirm that Richard Senior Archer was living at 28, Tattersfield Yard, Kilpin Hill, Heckmondwike and Sarah Archer had remained next door at number 30. His soldier’s monetary effects were divided between his mother Sarah, his brother Richard S and his sister Mabeth Kilburn, in September 1918. The final payment of £4 made in December 1919 to his mother Sarah.

Medals: Victory and British

Commemorated: Heckmondwike Vellum Roll and Green Park Memorial.{PL/KH-ex1}

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