|Able Seaman W.H. Archard, Royal Navy.
1914-15 Star (J26359 Boy.1. R.N.); British War Medal; Victory Medal (J26359 A.B. R.N.)
Douglas Morris indicates in his roll that of the 618 Egypt clasps awarded, 387 were single
clasp medals. Only three medals to HMS Experiment with this clasp. Two named to Boys and
the other a Lieut. The officer's medal (Robert Welch) was ex Blare collection (1937) and
Sold at Sotheby's in 1979 for 350 pounds
The Message roll indicates
Glendining March 1902, es Sir Charles Wright Collection
William Henry Archard was born on February 9th, 1898 in Chippenham Wilts. He was the son of Walter (1873-1916), a
railway police servant and Annie. In the 1901 Census he is living with his parents at 1, Springfield Buildings, Langley Burrell
Within, Chippenham along with his younger brother George. In the 1911 census, he is living with his parents in Chippenham
along with 3 younger brothers and a younger sister. His occupation is "milk boy"
He began his naval career at the age of 15 as a Boy 2cl on Aug 8th, 1913 aboard HMS Impregnable and served primarily on
Depot Ships until December 1914. His occupation on enlistment was listed as labourer- iron work.
In December 1914, he served on the Armed Merchant Cruiser Virginian which was part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron, used to
maintain the blockade of the North Sea, its patrol area extending from the Norwegian coast far into the Atlantic. She may
have been better known however because of a well known incident two years earlier:- The Virginian served the North Atlantic
for the Allan Line and in 1912 was in communication with the Titanic when she stuck the Iceberg. The Virginian was 300 miles
off the coast of Halifax at the time and was one of the ships that steamed to the site in response to the disaster but it
proved fruitless since she was estimated to be about 170 miles from the site a distance that was too great to be of practical
help. Virginian also features in the story in another way since many of the newspapers reported erroneously that "Passengers
transferred to the Parisian and Carpathia, while Virginian takes vessel in tow to Halifax"
Archard served on Virginian until March 1916 and spent time on some other depot ships before joining HMS Broke in August
1916. He was promoted to AB on Jan 1917 and served on Broke until January 1918. He was on board Broke during the battle
of Dover Strait in April 1917 when HMS Broke and HMS Swift engaged six German destroyers. A torpedo from HMS Swift
sank one of the enemy destroyers, G-85, then Broke deliberately rammed another, G-42, the two ships became locked
together and there was fighting on Broke's deck until the Broke managed to break free and the German destroyer sank with
36 souls on board. Broke was badly damaged and was towed home. The commander, Edward Evans who had served with Scott
in the Antarctic, became a popular hero and was known in the British press as "Evans of the Broke".
His conduct while serving was described as Very Good and he received a Free Discharge in January 1920
He married Elsie Brewer, a local girl from Chippenham in the summer of 1923. William Archard died in the second quarter of
1981 aged 83