CWG: Stoker 2nd Class Archibald Hay

Stoker 2nd Class Archibald Hay

Archibald Mitchell Hay was born on 7th February 1900 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was the older of two children to Archibald and Elizabeth Hay.

There is little documented about Archibald Jr’s life; that he enlisted in the Royal Navy as a Stoker 2nd Class, is fact. It is likely that he did so in August 1917: the Royal Navy War Graves Roll gives his date of birth as 7th August 1899, so this would put him as being of an age to join up.

Archibald Sr also enlisted during the war – he joined the Royal Army Service Corps and gave his son as one of his dependents, citing his date of birth as 7th February 1900.

Either way, Archibald joined the Royal Navy. Again, full details of his service have not survived, but what is certain is that he was based at HMS Pembroke – the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, Kent – during the summer of 1917.

The naval base was particularly busy at that point in the war, and the barracks’ Drill Hall was brought in as temporary accommodation. This is where Stoker Hay was billeted.

On the night of the 3rd September 1917, Chatham was bombarded by a German air raid, and the Drill Hall received a direct hit. Tragically, Stoker 2nd Class Hay was amongst those killed. He was just 17 years old.

Archibald Mitchell Hay’s body was laid to rest in the Woodlands Cemetery in Gillingham, alongside the other victims of the Chatham Air Raid.

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