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"A multitude of friends" - death of John Archer

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Archer's grave   Photo - view of Morden cemetery
Archer's gravestone at Morden Cemetery
Copyright © Peter Hughes
  Morden Cemetery, where John Archer is buried
Copyright © Peter Hughes

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 (pdf format) 104KB.

Guest-curated for the British Library by Mike Phillips

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Alexander Dumas Alexandre Dumas
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Introduction
Introduction
Alexander Pushkin
Alexander Pushkin
Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas
George Polgreen Bridgetower
George Polgreen Bridgetower
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
John Archer
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Race and politics
Race and politics
Life and Politics and Labour
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"A multitude of friends" - death of John Archer
 
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