|Brothers Henry Seymour (left) & Leonard Shirley Archibald|
The Archibald brothers departed for overseas on April 7 and were assigned to the 17th Reserve Battalion upon landing in England. The next several months were spent in training at Camp Bramshott. Leonard was the first to leave for the front line, receiving a transfer to the 25th Battalion on August 21 and joining the unit in the forward area at month’s end.
At the time of Leonard’s arrival, the battalion had recently fought at Amiens and Arras—part of a major Allied counter-offensive against German forces—and was training at Chérisy. On September 12, the 25th briefly returned to support positions for three days before retiring to camp near Écoivres for several days’ training. On September 18, the unit received sudden orders to report to the reserve area and returned to Chérisy. Later that night, personnel entered the front line southeast of Inchy-en-Artois amidst heavy German artillery shelling.
While the unit was in place by 1:00 a.m. September 19, the 25th’s war diary reported one fatality during the relief process. Private Leonard Shirley Archibald was “hit in the head and chest by enemy shell fire and instantly killed” while “proceeding with his Battalion to the front line.” Leonard was laid to rest in nearby Quéant Communal Cemetery British Extension.
Leonard’s story is one of 64 profiles contained in Bantry Publishing’s First World War Honour Roll of Guysborough County, Nova Scotia, Volume II: 1918 - 1937, available for purchase online at bantrypublishing.ca .