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John Archbold

Deck Hand John Edward James Archbold of the Royal Naval Reserve, Service No. 15896DA, was lost, aged 34, when his ship H.M. Drifter 'Guide Me II' was sunk on August 29th, 1918.

John was born in 1885. He was the youngest child of George and Elizabeth Archbold of Craster. His father George, a fisherman, was found, drowned, on March 8th, 1901 and his mother Elizabeth died in February 1916.

The 1901 census described John's occupation as a 'stone breaker at whinstone quarry,' his elder sister was a domestic servant and his brother Thomas William a fisherman. In 1911 John was still working as a 'quarryman (breaking stones).' Mary Jane was 'working at home' and  Thomas had a share in an inshore fishing boat. Thomas was lost at sea on February 10th 1928. In 1911, all three of the children were still single.

John is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial and on the family grave at Spitalford.

John's gravestone in Spitalford Cemetery

Chatham Naval Memorial

The 'Guide Me II'

The 'Guide Me II' was built in Aberdeen in 1907 as a drift net fishing boat. She weighed 100tons and was 26m long. In March 1915, she was hired by the Admiralty and converted to an anti-submarine coastal gun boat, with the addition of a six-pound gun.

She sank off the Irish Coast in Dublin Bay, after a collision, August 29th, 1918. It is not know whether this collision was with another vessel or the Muglins Rock. The 'Guide Me II' was rediscovered in 1990 and the gun was raised and is now on display at the Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire.

John, who was serving as a deck hand on the vessel, was the only man lost in the incident.

The final resting place of Guide Me II

The final resting place of Guide Me II in Dublin Bay. Source Wreck Site

The family grave Spitalford Cemetery

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - John Archbold

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