THORNTON, Archibald Clement

No.57949, Private, Archibald Clement THORNTON
Aged 29

20th Battalion, Canadian Infantry
Died of his Wounds on Sunday, 21st November 1915

Archibald Clement Thornton was born in Northampton on 11th September 1886 (Northampton Q4-1886 3B:60), baptised in Northampton on 20th December 1886, son of Rev Frederick Ferdinand Martin Schleider and Harriet Emily THORNTON (née WOOLSTON).

1891 census...Aged 4, he was at The Manor House,Nuneaton High Road, Mancetter, Atherstone with his mother Harriet Em [45] born Wellingborough, Northants; brothers Frederick Edward [11] and Bernard Martin [10] both born in Northampton and Gerard Frederick [9] born Dallington, Northants.
His father Frederick F.M.S. THORNTON [45] clerk in Holy Orders born Hamburg, German (British subject) was visiting Rev Augustus Miller at The Rectory, Wootton, Northants.

1901 census...Aged 14, he was at 22/23 Montpelier Crescent, Brighton at school. His parents were at the Rectory, Downham. He was educated at Wellington School and Clare College, Cambridge

In 1904, his father bought Shudy Camps Park, which at the time comprised six farms, twenty houses and a pub.

1911 census...He has not been found in this census, presumably already in Canada as he was probably the Arch C Thornton who sailed from London to Portland USA on the SS "Cairnrona" on 22nd February 1910. His parents were at Shudy Camps Hall

His father was Vicar at St Mary's Shudy Camps from 1919 to 1938. His mother collapsed and died in the church at Shudy Camps two weeks before the end of the war as she was laying flowers in memory of her two sons.

His brother Bernard served as Major in the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders, and another brother, Frederick served as a Major in the 105th Mahratta Light infantry and was killed near Kut al Amara in 1917 see here

He attested in Toronto on 17th November 1914. He was born in Northampton,England on 11th September 1886, next of kin was his mother Emily at Shudy Camps Hall. He was a miller, 5 feet 11 inches (180.3 cm), chest 30.75" to 33" (77.8 to 83.8 cm), weighing 160 lbs (72.8 kg), hazel eyes, brown hair, Church of England. He chose not to apply for a commission
He arrived in England on the SS "Megantic" from Montreal on 24th May 1915. He then proceeded to France on 14th September 1915. As a good linguist, he served as a listener, monitoring enemy activity and gathering intelligence. This was a particularly dangerous deployment as listening posts were usually sited some 30 yards ahead of the front line. In action on the Ypres Salient near Vierstraat he was wounded twice on 14 November 1915. He was taken to No.8 Casualty Clearing Station in Bailleul, just over the border, in France. Efforts to treat his injuries, including the amputation of a leg, were unsuccessful and he died on 21 November.

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Archibald Thornton is buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension grave 1:C:6

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details