Archibald John WINGELL was born in about early 1879 in Leicester. He was the only son of Arthur Wingell, a book-keeper [born c.1855, in Guilsborough, Nothamptonshire], and his wife, Lucy Ann [Fanny], née Ireland, [b.c.1851, who was from Leicester]. Their marriage was registered in Leicester in Q2 1877.
In 1881, when Archibald was two, the family was living at 34 Chestnut Street, Leicester. By 1891 they had moved to Rugby and were living at 34 Bath Street. Archibald was now 12 and he had a sister, Edith Minnie, who was eight and had been born in Aylestone, Leicestershire. Their father was now a Grocer. On census night Archibald’s mother’s sister, Martha, a schoolmistress, and his grandmother, Hannah Ireland, were staying with them.
In 1901, the family were still in Rugby, but had moved to 11 Arnold Street. Archibald’s father, Arthur, was a ‘grocer’s clerk’ and Archibald was a ‘tailor’s cutter’. His sister, Edith Minnie was working at home as a ‘milliner’.
It seems from papers in his effects, that Archibald had become – or perhaps was studying to become – a Mason, although nothing further is known.
It seems that Archibald moved to London and on 2 April 1911 the census noted that he was aged 30 and boarding at 37 Angles Road, Streatham, and still working as a ‘tailor’s cutter’.
Soon afterwards he married Agnes Anne Howse, then a ‘showroom assistant’ on 15 August 1911 at St James’ church, Ramsden, Oxfordshire. She was born in Ramsden in 1885 and her father was a blacksmith. In April 1911 she had been an assistant draper in the High Street, Banbury.
The Electoral Registers for 1914 and 1915 listed him in a ‘dwelling house’ at 78 Harborough Road, Streatham.
Archibald enlisted, aged 36 years and 11 months, on 9 December 1915. He was living at 78 ‘Harbour’ [Harborough] Road, Streatham, Surrey. He was 5ft 8inches tall and had a birth mark on the outside of his right thigh. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner, No.101045. His Service Record survives, probably because his widow later received a pension and the Pension Records were not affected by the WWII fire.
He was on ‘Home Service’ from 21 June 1916 to 9 July 1917. He was promoted to ‘Lance Rank’ on 19 August 1916 and then to Acting Bombardier on 22 January 1917. He then went to join the British Expeditionary Force in France on 10 July, and on 17 July was posted from ‘base’ to the 23rd Heavy Battery, which had arrived in France, some two years earlier, on 15 September 1915.
Less than three weeks after going to France, he received gunshot wounds to his groin and back whilst he was ‘in action’ and was transferred to the 140th Field Ambulance, which was attached to the 41st Division in France where he died of his wounds on 31 July.
The 41st Division had been involved in the Battle of Messines in June 1917, before Archibald arrived in France. The Division was then involved in the initial action of the Battle of 3rd Ypres – the Battle of Pilckem Ridge which started on 31 July 1917, the day he died.
He was buried near the ‘Great Cross’ in Plot II. A. 3., in the La Clytte Military Cemetery. His gravestone includes the following words from his widow: ‘Adieu until we meet above’.
La Clytte Military Cemetery is located 8 kms west of Ieper [Ypres]. The hamlet of La Clytte was used as Brigade Headquarters, and burials were carried out by Infantry, Artillery and Engineer units (out of 600, 250 are those of Artillery personnel and 66 are those of Engineers).
After the war, his next of kin, his widow, Agnes Anne Wingell, was still living at their home, 78 Harborough Road, Streatham, S.W. 16. On 29 January 1918 she received Archibald’s effects, and it seems that there were a considerable number, probably reflecting that he was behind the lines with the artillery, where his effects could be recovered, rather than in the front line. His effects included:
‘Disc, Letters, (1 Registered open), Photos, small photo-case, Pocket book, Religious Book, 9ct Gold Ring, silver cigarette case, fountain pen & filler, Lodge rules, letter wallet, training card, Ribbon brooch, Cigarette holder, medal ribbons (3 pieces), sundry papers & cards, sundry Masonic papers, eyeglass, key, watch (broken), mirror, tobacco pouch, metal comb, penny stamp’.
The Register of Effects confirms his rank, number and place and date of death. His back pay of £4-15-2d was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Agnes, on 12 January 1918, and his War Gratuity of £4-0-0d was paid to her on 3 December 1919. Agnes was awarded a pension of 13/9d per week with effect from 18 February 1918.
Archibald John Wingell was awarded the British War and Victory Medals which were received by his widow on 6 October 1921. He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.
At the time of Archibald’s marriage in 1911, his father was a ‘Broker’s agent’, but he died in Rugby in 1913, aged 58. After the war, in 1919, his widowed mother, Lucy, was still living in Rugby, at 69 Manor Road. His sister had married in mid-1907 with Augustus Frank Lane, and was now Mrs Edith Lane and they were living at 6 Holbrook Avenue, Rugby.
RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM
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This article on Archibald John WINGELLwas researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, July 2017.
 UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929.