WW1 Archibald Clement Mitchell (8/3360)

Mitchell Archibald Clement (Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-19180718-41-46)

Archibald Clement Mitchell (8/3360) was born in Auckland on 10 March 1884 to Adam and Annie May Mitchell (Mallett), one of eleven children in the family (8 boys and 3 girls), one other brother served in World War I, he was Arthur Alfred John Mitchell (56172). His sister Mary Ellen Jane Robinson (Mitchell) was living at Basford House, 9 Owens Road, Epsom at the time of his enlistment [1, 2]

Archibald was a self-employed contractor and living at the Commercial Hotel, in Wanganui when he enlisted on 18 May 1915.  He was 5ft 7 ¼ inches tall with hazel eyes and dark brown hair, and 30 years of age.  After training, he sailed on 13 November 1915 as a Private with the 8th Reinforcements of the Otago Infantry Battalion to France.  He was promoted to Sergeant with the Otago Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion on the Western Front in France.

Archibald was wounded in action on the 18 September 1916, hospitalised in France and sent to hospital in England 28 September 1916 for further treatment and recuperation.  He was discharged 26 June 1917 and assisted in the hospital until he rejoined his unit on 11 November 1917 in France There, he was promoted to Corporal on 17 November 1917 and then promoted to Sergeant on 17 April 1918.

Between April 1918 and July 1918, the German Army launched four offensives In Flanders, Northern France which pushed the British out of Passchendaele and Messines, the territory that has been won at such cost the previous year, but failed to capture the important Hazebrouck rail hub. New Zealand units were involved in helping stop the German advance in the Battle of the Lys. It was here that Archibald was killed in action on 28 April 1918 aged 34.[3].

He is buried at Euston Road Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme, France. He is remembered on the St Luke’s Church, Remuera, Honours Board [4].  He was awarded 1914-1915 Star medal.

Archibald’s brother, Arthur Alfred John Mitchell who was born in Auckland 20 September 1886, also served in WW1.Both brothers provide their sister’s name and address as their next of kin; Mrs Mary Ellen Robinson (Mitchell), Bosford House, 9 Owens Road, Epsom, Auckland.

At the time of his enlistment on 24 April 1917, Arthur was a gardener employed by Mr D Maroney.  After four months of military training, he sailed from Wellington for Glasgow, arriving on 2 October 1917. He was a Private with the 29thReinforcements, F Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  He received further training in England was posted to the Western Front in France on 28 October 1917.  He was wounded on 28 March 1918 and was sent to England to recuperate until 10 November 1917 when he was transferred back to the Western Front in France.  He returned to New Zealand on 19 May 1919 and lived until 1954.

Arthur was awarded the British War Medal.

G Ralph
April 2020