Collection ARCHER - ARCHER, Capt John (1871-1954)

Key Information

Reference code



ARCHER, Capt John (1871-1954)


  • 1889-1938 (Creation)

Level of description



4 boxes or 0.04m3

Scope and content

Papers of Capt John Archer, 1889-1938, including: diaries, 1889-1896, 1901, 1908-1910, 1919, 1921-1922, 1925 and 1938; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues detailing his military experiences, 1893-1913; papers relating to Archer's career, including notebook containing details of service record, examinations passed, certificates gained and financial accounts, 1889-1894; list of warrant and non-commissioned officers at School of Musketry, Hythe, Oct 1895; printed map of Mashonaland, 1896; issues of The Rhodesia Herald, 1896, concerning the Mashonaland Uprising; general instructions for non-commissioned officers, 1897; timetable for movement of Archer's unit from Omdurman, 1898; poem 'The Night Attack on Surprise Hill', by Pte J Gibbons, 1899; sketch map of Lydenburg and the surrounding countryside, South Africa, by R Verney, 2 Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade, [1899]; lithograph map of Cairo, War Office, 1901; special orders announcing proclamation of peace, June 1902; Intelligence summaries, Jan and April 1902; order of service for Military Thanksgiving Service for the Restoration of Peace, Pretoria, Jun 8 1902; order of service for Coronation Day, 26 Jun 1902; parade service for visit of the Amir of Afghanistan to Agra, Jan 1907, with map showing locations of troop billets and plan of organisation of troop review; papers relating to Archer's time as POW, Germany and Holland, 1914-1918, and press cuttings, correspondence and reports relating to Archer's job as Superintendent of Prisons, Nyasaland, 1920-1936.Rifle and athletic meeting programmes, with press cuttings recording Archer's successes, 1898-1914. Photograph album showing manoeuvres, Malta, 1897; Crete, 1898; punitive raids on Transvaal farms, including taking Boer women into concentration camps, 1901; Middleburg and Groot Oliphant Camps, 1901-1902; views of Egypt including parades, inspections, sports and camps, 1902-1905; photographs of groups of POWs, Merseburg Camp and examples of paper money used in the Merseburg Camp, 1914-1919. Also copy of A Fine Chest of Medals: The Life of Jack Archer, Colin Baker (Mpemba Books: Cardiff, 2003).

System of arrangement

In sections as above.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Archer, often known as Jack, was born 1871; enlisted with Rifle Brigade, 1889; joined 2 Battalion, Rifle Brigade; stationed in Ireland, 1890-1895; Sergeant, 1894; appointed Armourer Sergeant, Mounted Infantry, 1896; posted to Mashonaland, 1896-97; returned to 2 Battalion, Rifle Brigade and posted to Malta, Egypt, the Sudan and Crete, 1897-1899; fought in the Battle of Omdurman, 1898; Colour Sergeant, 1899; fought in the Second Boer War, South Africa, 1899-1902, including Siege of Ladysmith; posted to Egypt, the Sudan and India, 1902-1908; appointed Regimental Sergeant Major, 1 Battalion, King's African Rifles, 1908; posted to Nyasaland (Malawi) and Somaliland, 1908-1914; Sergeant Major, A Company, 1 Battalion Rifle Brigade, British Expeditionary Force, 1914; wounded and captured at Battle of Cambrai, Aug 1914; POW, Merseburg Camp, Germany and Scheveningen Camp, Holland, 1914-1918; retired from Army, 1919; worked for the prison service, Nyasaland (Malawi), 1919-1939; commissioned as 2 Lieutenant, East African Army Service Corps, 1939; worked in training and recruitment; retired with rank of Honorary Captain, 1947; died 1954.

Archival history

The papers were given to Professor Colin Baker by the Archer family.Immediate source of acquisition:Presented to the Centre by the family, Oct 2003, and Prof Colin Baker, on behalf of the family, Aug 2005.

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, via the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Uploaded finding aid

Existence and location of originals

Off-campus collection

Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus. Read more ›

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

People and Organisations

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Archivist's note

Compiled by Katharine Higgon.

Accession area