Private Archibald Frederick Elgood

Date of Birth c. 1894
Age at Death 20
Date of Death 26 August 1914
Service Number 9520
Military Service 1st Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment
Merton Address 7 Briscoe Road, Merton
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Born in Tooting c.1894, Archibald was the third child of William and Emily Elgood to survive to adulthood. His father worked as a painter, bricklayer and house decorator. Archibald had eleven siblings, including an older brother, Robert and an older sister, Edith. It was not until 5 April, 1896, that he was baptised at Holy Trinity Church, Upper Tooting, together with his younger brother Alfred. In 1901 the Elgoods were living at 97 Palestine Grove, Mitcham. As the family grew in size, they moved to 7 Briscoe Road, Colliers Wood. By 1911 Archibald was working as a paper cutter. It is not clear if he was following in his father’s footsteps as a decorator, or working in a factory - possibly at the nearby Reed’s Paper Mill.

However, after turning 18, Archibald decided to join the Army, selecting the same regiment as his older brother Robert, and enlisting as a private in the 1st battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment on 31 December, 1912. When war broke out, his unit was sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The Elgood family was now to endure more than its share of tragedy. 20 year old Archibald was wounded and died just 13 days after his arrival at the Front. He is commemorated on the La Ferte-Sous Jouarre Memorial in the Seine et Marne district of France and also on the Mitcham War memorial.

His older brother, Robert, had been a serving soldier with the 2nd Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment since 1910 and was based in Bermuda when the war started. His unit was immediately sent back to France and Flanders, where he too was killed in action on 10 March 1915. He is one of 60 British troops buried at the Neuve-Chapelle Farm Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

Archibald’s younger brother also joined up in July 1914 but his behaviour was soon called into question and he was discharged in October 1914 for misconduct and the inability to make an efficient soldier. He then re-enlisted as a private in the 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment under the name Alfred Totterdill. In this guise he seems to have been more successful. His battalion fought in Flanders and Alfred served with honour from 1914 to 1917, He was the third member of the Elgood family to perish in the First World War. He was killed in action in November 1917, aged just 21. His body was never found and he is one of 11,956 British and Commonwealth troops commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.


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