In 1931 Archer began to experience chronic ill health. The following
year he was admitted to St James Hospital , where he died of "cardio-renal
failure" on Thursday 14 July 1932, a few weeks after his 69th birthday.
His funeral was held at the Church of Our Lady of Carmel in Battersea
Park Road on Tuesday 19 July, with Mass said by four priests. He
was buried in the Council's cemetery at Morden, after an elaborate
and affecting funeral procession in which a cross-bearer, several
clergy and acolytes led the way in an open carriage. Behind them
came 10 limousines and a hearse laden with flowers. The procession
wound its way slowly along Battersea Park Road, past Archer's old
photography studio and his home, past the headquarters of the North
Battersea Labour Party, "up Latchmere Road, and round Eland Road
into Lavender Hill. The Municipal Buildings and Town Hall were passed
at a very slow pace. Many of the Borough Council officers were waiting
outside the building to see the cortege pass".
In the South Western Star, the Battersea MP William Sanders
wrote that Archer – "was one of the largest hearted men I
have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The poor had no better friend;
he spared neither himself nor his substance in giving help to those
in need. His public spirit had no bounds, and it may be that he
would have lived longer if he had thought less of his fellow creatures
and more of his personal interests. But it can be said that he had
his reward, for he left behind him a multitude of friends and not
a single enemy. He was one who deserved well of the community, for
he had served it well."
References and further reading
Read a fuller version of Mike Phillips' essay in Adobe Acrobat
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Guest-curated for the British Library by Mike Phillips