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Archie Clyde McPherson (1891-1964)

Citation

“Archie Clyde McPherson (1891-1964),” Wyndham History, accessed October 22, 2018, http://wyndhamhistory.net.au/items/show/2258.
View Record Detail
Title

Archie Clyde McPherson (1891-1964)

Subject

McPherson, Archie Clyde

Publisher

Wyndham City Libraries

Date

21 April 1915

Contributor

Bill Strong

Format

text

Language

eng

Type

Text

Biographical Text

No.6140  Private Archie Clyde McPherson

Archie Clyde McPherson was born in Hobart, Tasmania in 1891 to Thomas McPherson and Henrietta Gearman. They married at Hobart in 1883, and had four children:

  • Ida Lillian McPherson - born 1884 at Hobart
  • Eric Thomas McPherson - born 1886 at Hobart
  • Ella Marguerita McPherson - born 1887 at Hobart
  • Archie Clyde McPherson - born 1891 at Hobart

Pre War

After spending his childhood in Tasmania, Archie McPherson moved to Victoria, where he married Ellen Rose Diamond in 1913.

In 1914, the Victorian Electoral Roll shows that Archie Clyde McPherson was a fruiterer, living at 297 Mt Alexander Road in Ascot Vale, with his wife, Rose Ellen McPherson.

Their first child, Lilian Alice McPherson, was born at Flemington Victoria in 1915.

War Service

At the age of 24 years, Archie McPherson took his oath and enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on 21 April 1915.  His wife would have been pregnant at the time, with their first child.  He first went to the Broadmeadows camp for initial training, and on 18 June 1915, he was appointed to the local Military Clearing Hospital.

Archie remained there until 7 October 1915, when he was appointed to the 11th Reinforcements (Army Medical Corp), 2nd Field Ambulance.

Private Archie McPherson embarked at Melbourne per H.M.A.T. A71 Nestor on 11 October 1915, and sailed to Egypt.  After a period of further training, he sailed from Alexandria on 4 December 1915 to the base on the island of Mudros. Two days later, he sailed to Gallipoli, where he was temporarily attached to the No.3 Field Ambulance.

This was at the time of the Allied withdrawal from Anzac, and by 16 December 1915 he had returned to Mudros, where he joined the reinforcements at the Sarpi Camp.

While at the camp he was charged with being absent without leave while on duty, and was awarded 3 days of No.2 Field Punishment.*

He returned to Egypt in early 1916, where he was taken on strength with the 14th Field Ambulance at Tel-el-Kebir.

In June 1916, he embarked from the port of Alexandria with his unit, and sailed to France, where he disembarked on 30 June 1916.

The 14th Field Ambulance then supported the troops of the 5th Division’s 14th Brigade on the Western Front. The Brigade comprised of the 53rd, 54th, 55th and 56th Battalions.

The 5th Division suffered very heavy casualties in the attacks on Fromelles in July 1916, which overwhelmed the Division’s medical capabilities. Then in the spring of 1917, the 5th Division saw action on the Hindenburg Line. 

In February 1917, Private McPherson was charged with committing a civil offence, and at a Field General Court Martial held on 2 March 1917, he was found guilty, and sentenced to one year in prison. The details of his offence were that, while on active service, he stole money from a French civilian, stole goods, the property of a French civilian, and was drunk on duty.

He was admitted to the No.3. Military Prison at Havre on 8 June 1917.  The final three months of his sentence was later remitted by the Australian Commander in Chief, on 29 December 1917.

On 7 January 1918, Private McPherson was posted to the 37th Battalion. When he passed through the Havre Base he went to hospital, sick. He was admitted to the 2nd General Hospital suffering with Otitis Externa, inflammation of the ear canal, and was discharged on 21 March 1918.

Private McPherson then proceeded to join the 37th Battalion at Mericourt on 20 April 1918. They had just been relieved in the front line by the 39th Battalion. The very next day there is a note in the Unit’s War Diary that “Captain Baron Richthofen, the great German aviator with 80 planes to his credit, was shot down in their vicinity”.

The German offensive had stalled at this time, and the Allies were launching their own offensive, known as the 100 Day Offensive. This action (which included the 37th Battalion) led to the winning of the war in November 1918.

Late in 1918, Archie McPherson's wife gave birth to twin boys, at Carlton, in Victoria. They were named Alec James McPherson and Colin Baxter McPherson.  Even though Archie McPherson was fighting overseas, he was recorded as being the father.

Archie McPherson's medical condition again caused him to be hospitalised on 20 September 1918. He was treated for otitis media by the 10th Field Ambulance, the 53rd Casualty Clearing Station, the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Abbeville, and the 24th General Hospital at Etaples.

He was transferred to Grayling War Hospital at Chichester still suffering from slight otitis media, on 27 December 1918.  On 3 January 1919 he was transferred to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Grayling in England, and remained there until the 22 February 1919, when he was discharged on furlough.

At the completion of his leave, he reported to the No. 2 Commonwealth Depot and awaited a passage home.

Private Archie McPherson embarked on 4 April 1919 per H.T. Shropshire, and disembarked at Melbourne on 16 May 1916. Then, four months later, he was discharged from the A.I.F. through the 3rd Military District, to resume his civilian life.

Post War

After the war, the 1919 Victorian Electoral Rolls show that Archie Clyde McPherson was again a fruiterer, living at 297 Mt Alexander Road in Ascot Vale.

In 1921, Archie McPherson and his wife were living at 94 Railway Place, at Newmarket, and he was working as an iron machinist.

The following year - 1922 - saw them move to 12 Farnham Street in Newmarket, and he was then a fitter.

In 1924 the family had moved to 55 Foley Street in Kew, and Archie had gone back to being a Fruiterer.

In 1925 they had moved back to 41 Eltham Street in Newmarket, and Archie then described himself as a Collector.

Then in 1926, the family moved to the Moonee Ponds area, and constantly changed addresses:

  • 1926-27 saw them at 11 Davis Street, and Archie was a fitter
  • 1928 saw them at 72 Bent Street, and Archie was a fitter
  • 1931 to 1934 saw them at 17 Steele Street, and Archie was a Fitter

In 1949, the Electoral Roll records Archie Clyde McPherson as an ironworker, living at 39 Caroline Street, South Yarra. His wife Rose worked as a cigarette packer.

His last entry in the Electoral Rolls was in 1963, when they moved to 12 Vine Street in Sunshine, and Archie was recorded as being a Fitter.

Archie Clyde McPherson died at the Heidelberg Repat Hospital in 1964, at the age of 72 years.**

His cremated remains were interred in the Garden of Remembrance at Fawkner Memorial Park on 29 September 1964.

Medals and Entitlements:

  • 1914/15 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal

Notes

Name on the Werribee Shire Oak Board: McPherson, A.

The name “McPherson, A. from Laverton” first appeared in the Werribee Shire Banner’s continuous Roll of Honor, in their edition of 29 June 1915.

*Field Punishment No.2. - There were two categories field punishment. Field punishment No. 1 consisted of heavy labouring duties, possibly being restrained in handcuffs or fetters, and being tied to a post or wheel. Field punishment No. 2 differed, in that the offender was not liable to be attached to a fixed object.

**Findmypast.com.au

 

Bibliography

Embarkation - https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/
Unit War Diary - https://www.awm.gov.au/collection
Death – ancestry.com.au
Service Record – https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/
Marriage – ancestry.com.au
Tasmanian Pioneer Index 1803-1899 CD
Victorian Federation Index 1889-1901 CD
Edwardian Index 1902-1913 CD
Great Wat Index 1914-1920 CD

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