Archibald Vincent (Archie to his family) was born at Penarth on 17 May 1887. His father was Walter Rayner Shirley, a solicitor, his mother Eliza Agnes Walker Hood. He was their eldest child, he had sisters Phyllis and Beryl, and brother Rayner.
In 1891 the family, with his sister Phyllis, were lodging in Great Malvern. By 1901 Archie aged 13 was a pupil at Stancliffe Hall Preparatory School in Darley, Derbyshire, after which he attended Rugby School. He read for his degree at Exeter College Oxford, and enlisted in the Welsh Horse Yeomanry, a Territorial unit, at the outbreak of war, first as a despatch rider, then serving in the ranks. He gained his commission in spring 1915, served in Gallipoli, then was sent to Egypt until October 1916 when he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a Second Lieutenant.
His biography in de Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour gives this information together with a photograph, and adds he died at Roulers in Flanders, and that “he was killed in aerial battle where he encountered an overwhelming number of enemy machines, and, colliding with one, came crashing to the ground.”
As well as his name appearing on the Rugby Memorial Gates, he is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial located in the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery in Arras, in Rugby School Memorial Chapel, and on the War Memorial of Llandough and Leckwith, near Cardiff where his father was living.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM