George Archer was born in August of 1890 at Sandridge and Baptised on the 4th January 1891 at Sandridge.
His father was George Archer who was an ex-soldier who had served in West Africa, Gibraltar and Burma. He married his mother, Clara Aldridge, on 6th April 1890 at Sandridge but sadly within a few weeks he died, leaving Clara to raise George and an older sister Kate by herself.
In the census of 1891 George, aged 8 months, was living with his maternal grandfather, his mother Clara, sister Kate and an uncle at St Albans Road, Sandridge.
Clara married Amos Lawrence in 1894 at Sandridge and they had 4 more children two of whom died before the 1911 census.
In the 1901 census George, now aged 10, is living with his grandfather, mother and step-father, sister Kate, and brother Frederick in the East Side of Sandridge.
By the 1911 census George, aged 20 and now employed as a Coal Carter is still living at home with his grandfather, mother and step-father, Kate and Frederick in Sandridge.
His Police Service Record has not survived but from the General Orders we know he was Appointed as Police Constable 305 on 1st December 1914 and probably stationed at Hertford as this is where he later enlisted.
General Order 6 of 8th January 1915 shows that effective from 1st December 1914 George, who was stationed in F Division, received a pay rise from 24/6 to 25/8 per week.
General Order 98 of 9th June 1915 was entitled:
“The Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915.”
The undermentioned Police Constable’s being desirous in enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 10 Elkins E. A Division
2. PC 120 Day A.T. B Division
3. PC 285 Sirett B Division
4. PC 319 Potter C. C Division
5. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Division
6. PC 145 Abbiss F.W. C Division
7. PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division
8. PC 313 Quarrie H.H. C Division
9. PC 301 Allen G.A. C Division
10. PC 217 Lake O. C Division
11. PC 308 Clarke F. C Division
12. PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division
13. PC 310 Tatham G. F Division
14. PC 315 Thurley W.J. F Division
15. PC 305 Archer G. F Division
16. PC 93 Potton F. G Division
17. PC 274 Rowlingson H. G Division
18. PC 321 Reid N. G Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay.
The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.
General Order 118 of 21st July 1915 is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable who joined the armed forces. 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered. George is shown as PC 305 Archer G. F Division who enlisted in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry on 11th June 1915.
George was one of 23 Hertfordshire Police Officers who joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry who posed for a photograph in 1915 believed at Colchester. The officers were:
1. PC 308 F. Clarke
2. PC 93. F. Potton
3. PC 189 J.W. Clark
4. PC 312 D.E. Cattermole
5. PC 285 G.H. Sirett
6. PC 105 H.M. Armitage
7. PC 313 H.H. Quarrie
8. PC 120 A.T. Day
9. PC 315 W.J. Thurley
10. PC 10 E.A.V. Elkins
11. PC 35 A.W. Reid
12. PS 20 H. Wright
13. PC 233 W.J. Bethell
14. PC 121 F.W.E. Perry
15. PC 274 H. Rowlingson
16. PC 19 H.W. Carder
17. PC 217 O.V. Lake
18. PC 316 A.S. Brown
19. PC 305 G. Archer
20. PC 301 G.A. Allen
21. PC 7 A.G. Capon
22. PC 321 N.J. Reid
23. PC 314 A.W. Corne
The photo included a regular Army Sergeant, Jeffrey Arthur Riches, who was an instructor.
His Army Service record did not survive but from his Medal Roll Index card he was Private 2546 in the Hertfordshire Yeomanry, later under the reorganisation he was given the serial number 105805. There is no record or date of entry to any theatre of war.
George did qualify for The Victory Medal and British War Medal although alongside these is the entry: Returned (1743 KR) 7941/Adj. This refers to the Kings Regulation of 1912 number 1743 the wording of which is: “Medals which, at the end of 10 years, still remained unclaimed, will be sent to the India Office (If granted for India Service), or to the deputy director of ordnance stores, Royal Dockyard (Medal Branch), Woolwich (if granted for other services) to be broken up”, so it would appear that the family did not claim his medals.
George’s record in “Soldiers Died in the Great War” shows: Private 105805 of the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line (including Yeomanry and Imperial Camel Corps) serving with the Hertfordshire Yeomanry. He enlisted at Hertford and died on the 20th July 1917 in Egypt.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show:
Private George Archer 105805, 1st/1st, Hertfordshire Yeomanry died on 20 July 1917 Age 26. He was the son of Mrs. Amos Lawrence, of High Street, Sandridge. Herts and is remembered with Honour at the Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery.
The entry in the cemetery record reads:
Archer, Private, George, 105805. 1st/1st, Hertfordshire Yeomanry died of Meningitis on 20 July 1917 Age 26. He was the son of Mrs. Amos Lawrence, of High Street, Sandridge. (Grave) D.160.
The Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects records that he died in hospital and payments were made to his mother Mrs Clara Lawrence, sister Kate Springins and a Henry R. Clarke.
General Order 76 of 28th August 1917 stated:
The Deputy Chief Constable regrets to announce that the following deaths have occurred
1. Gunner 205985 Alban Henry Freeman R.H.A. died at Woolwich on 7th March 1917. Gunner Freeman joined the Hertford County Constabulary as a Constable on the 10th August 1914 and enlisted in H. M. Army on 1st February 1917.
2. Corporal 16314 Stanley Ralph Appleby Coldstream Guards Killed in Action 14th March 1917. Corporal Appleby joined the Hertford County Constabulary on 25th September 1912 and enlisted in H. M. Army on 11th June 1915.
3. Trooper 2546 George Archer Herts Yeomanry died at Alexandria on 20th July 1917. Trooper Archer joined the Hertford County Constabulary as a Constable on 1st December 1914 and enlisted in H. M. Army on 17th June 1915.