Archibald Walter Buckle

Commander Archibald Walter Buckle, DSO & Three Bars (16 February 1889 – 6 May 1927) was a school teacher who served as an officer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in the First World War. He commanded the Anson Battalion in the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division in the Hundred Days Offensive in 1918, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on four occasions.

Archibald Walter Buckle
Born16 February 1889
Chelsea, Middlesex
Died6 May 1927 (aged 38)
Brockley, London
BuriedBrockley and Ladywell Cemeteries, London
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Years of service1908–1918
RankCommander
Commands heldAnson Battalion, 63rd (Royal Naval) Division
Battles/warsFirst World War
AwardsDistinguished Service Order & Three Bars
Mentioned in Despatches (5)
Other workSchool teacher

Early life

Buckle was born in Chelsea in the County of Middlesex, and became a school teacher at St Augustine's School in Paddington. He had joined the London Division of the RNVR in January 1908, and became a Petty Officer in 1912. He married Elsie Louise Meeks in 1914, and returned to London from his honeymoon to join his unit when the First World War broke out.

War service

There was a surplus of naval personnel at the beginning of the war, and Buckle served on land with the Royal Naval Division. After service in the defence of Antwerp in September–October 1914 with the Drake Battalion, he returned to England and was commissioned as a temporary sub-lieutenant on 19 December 1914.[1] He spent a period training men, while others in the Division were sent to fight in Gallipoli. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant on 30 March 1915[2] and moved to Anson Battalion. He returned to the Western Front with the 63rd (Royal Naval) Division after the War Office took over its command from the Admiralty in 1916. His unit supported the 1916 Somme Offensive. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant commander in March 1917 and served at the Battle of Arras in April 1917 and then in Belgium in the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) in late 1917. He eventually promoted to temporary commander in March 1918, and commanded the Anson Battalion in the Hundred Days Offensive in 1918.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on four occasions for his actions in 1917–18, and mentioned in despatches five times. His first DSO was gazetted on 4 March 1918,[3][4] for actions in December 1917 in recapturing the strategic position of Welsh Ridge, near Masnières and Marcoing. He was awarded his first Bar on 26 July 1918,[5] for organising a counter-attack in March 1918 near Mesni; a second Bar on 11 January 1919,[6] for actions in August 1918 on the advance from Heudecourt; and a third Bar on 8 March 1919,[7] for actions on October 1918 near Niergnies.[8] It was later suggested in The Times that he had been considered for award of the Victoria Cross.

Later life

Buckle returned to teach in Brockley after the war, and became headmaster of the London County Council school on Rotherhithe New Road. He suffered three war wounds, which were said to have contributed towards his death aged 38, after a scratch to his arm became infected. He was survived by his wife and their three children.

Buckle's medals—the DSO and three Bars,[9] the trio of the 1914 Star (awarded for service when he was a petty officer),[10] the British War Medal,[11] the Victory Medal[12] (known as "Pip, Squeak and Wilfred"), and his RNVR Long Service and Good Conduct Medal[13]—are held by the Imperial War Museum, along with a portrait by Ambrose McEvoy.[14]

References

Notes
  1. ^ "No. 29015". The London Gazette. 22 December 1914. pp. 10918–10920.
  2. ^ "No. 29116". The London Gazette. 30 March 1915. pp. 3108–3109.
  3. ^ "No. 30555". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 March 1918. p. 2727.
  4. ^ "No. 30813". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 July 1918. p. 8735.
  5. ^ "No. 30845". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 August 1918. p. 9560.
  6. ^ "No. 31119". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 January 1919. p. 577.
  7. ^ "No. 31219". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 March 1919. p. 3223.
  8. ^ "No. 31583". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 October 1919. p. 12213.
  9. ^ "DSO (with three bars) awarded to Commander Archibald Walter Buckle RNVR". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  10. ^ "1914 Star awarded to Petty Officer Archibald Walter Buckle". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  11. ^ "British War Medal awarded to Commander Archibald Walter Buckle (DSO)". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Victory Medal (1914–1919) awarded to Commander Archibald Walter Buckle (DSO)". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  13. ^ "RNVR Long Service and Good Conduct Medal awarded to Commander Archibald Walter Buckle (DSO)". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Portrait of Commander A W Buckle, DSO, RNVR (1919) by Ambrose McEvoy". Imperial War Museum. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
Bibliography

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