CWG: Engine Room Artificer Archibald Callon

Engine Room Artificer Archibald Callon

Archibald Hubert Callon – also known as Archie – was born on 2nd January 1890 in Pembroke Dock, South Wales. One of eight children, his parents were shipwright Michael Callon and his wife, Mary. Soon after Archie was born, Michael moved the family to Gillingham, Kent, presumably as work at the nearby Naval Dockyard was plentiful.

The sea was clearly in his blood as, in 1905, Archie joined the Royal Navy, initially as a Boy Artificer, before taking on full employment there once he reached the age of 18. The 1911 census found him working as an Engine Room Artificer 4th Class, one of a crew of 57 aboard the torpedo destroyer HMS Swale, moored in Grimsby.

Archie slowly rose through the ranks and, by 1913, had become Engine Room Artificer 3rd Class, while serving on HMS Clio. He remained on this vessel through to April 1916, before returning to HMS Pembroke, the shore-based naval establishment in Chatham, Kent.

Sadly, Archie’s time back home was short. The next record for him is stark; it is noted that on 10th July 1916, he committed suicide, during temporary insanity. I have been unable to uncover anything further about his passing. He was just 26 years old.

Archibald Hubert Callon was laid to rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham, Kent, not far from where his family lived.


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