Archibald John Favell was born in Camberwell, Surrey in South London. His Father Francis John Favell was a pattern cutter in the leather trade. Archibald was the third child and the only son amongst 5 sisters. He attended Alleyn’s School under a scholarship scheme and was noted as benefitting well from his residence. In 1911, at the age of 21 he was listed in the census that year as being employed as a Solicitor’s Clerk while living at home with his widowed Father and sisters at number 8 Rutley Gardens. At the outbreak of war in September 1914 Archibald volunteered for the Army and was posted to The 2nd (City of London) Battalion of the London Regiment, The Royal Fusiliers. (His Uncle and three Cousins, Arthur, Arthur junior, Harry and Frank also signed up for service – see separate page).
In December, shortly after enlisting, he married Lillian Belsham whose Father was a Printing Machine minder. He was promoted twice during his service. To Sergeant during the Gallipoli Campaign in August 1915 and again to Company Quartermaster Sergeant in January 1916 before embarking for France. The poor conditions of trench warfare resulted in Archibald contracting Typhoid Fever during the winter of 1917, but after a short stay in hospital he returned to the front and continued to serve in France until the end of the war. He returned home to be demobilised set up home at 82 Thurlestone Road, West Norwood.
During his early time in the army, Archibald kept a small pocket diary, recording day to day activities. This diary along with some photographs is now in the collection of the National Army Museum. With National Lottery funding it was used as content for educational material commemorating the centenary of WW1. The introduction states: – “This PowerPoint presentation contains a selection of images and archives which students can use to explore the story of one British soldier in the First World War. In the main, the materials come from the Collection of the National Army Museum (NAM). Occasionally these are supplemented by materials from outside the NAM to provide context. These images can be used to build up a picture of an individual soldier’s experience of service in the First World War. These images can encourage literacy and visual literacy. Suggestions for questions you might discuss with your students are included in the notes”. A link is provided at the bottom of this page.
After the war, Archibald made use of his scholarship education, as no doubt he had also done during his war service. The 1921 census, when it is released will hopefully show the direction of his career, but I suspect accounting will feature as he had some books published, one of which was still being re-printed in revised editions into the 1990s. “Practical Book Keeping and Accounts” was a follow up to the earlier “Book Keeping – Stage I” and “Stage II” published by Pitman. Copies are always to be found on sites like Ebay, ranging from 1930s to 1990s copies. Like Archibald, his cousin Harry also attained the rank of Company Quartermaster Serjeant, a position that need literacy and arithmetic skills to keep control and account for the stores and supplies which were entrusted to them. I cannot help but wonder if they compared notes. Archibald died in 1942 in Croydon at the relatively early age of 52.
The above link directs you to the National Army Museum web site material