Lance Sergeant ARCHIBALD JOHN HEYDON

Regiment: 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment
Service No: G/1632
Date & place of birth: December 1895 in Assington, Suffolk
Date & place of death: 27 March 1918 in Aveluy Wood, Somme, France, aged 22

Archibald Heydon is commemorated on the war memorials in both Petworth and Selham.

Family background

Archibald John Heydon was born in Assington Suffolk where he lived until the family moved to Burton, Sussex in about 1902 and then Petworth in 1910. Archibald was the second son of five boys and he also had four younger sisters. His father, William, was a lockman in 1901 and a fly driver in 1911.

In 1911 Archibald was an office boy at the bus office, living at home in  Norman Mews, East Street, Petworth. Later his parents William and Harriet were living at 336F Grove Street, Petworth.

Archibald married Lucy Mary Lillingstone in Thetford registration district in Norfolk in the first quarter of 1918.

Military service

Archibald enlisted in Midhurst. His service number suggests this was in August 1914. His medal roll says he first entered the theatre of war in France on 3 September 1915. It also says he was by then a Lance Corporal.

His battalion fought in the Battle of Loos in September/October 1915. During 1916 they fought in the Battle of Albert, the Battle of Pozieres and the Battle of Le Transloy. During 1917 they fought in the First Battle of the Scarpe, the Battle of Arleux, the Third Battle of the Scarpe and the Cambrai operations.

Death & commemoration

Archibald  was killed in action at Aveluy Wood on the Somme on 27 March 1918 aged 22. The West Sussex County Times reported on 27 April 1918:

Killed in action in France, on March 27th, Lc. Sergt. Archibald John Heydon, 7th Royal Sussex Regt., second son of William and Harriet Heydon, and dearly loved husband of Lucy Heydon, of Petworth.

He is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial on the Somme and received the British, Victory and 15 star medals.

He is commemorated on both the Petworth and Selham war memorials.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project