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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Duncan, Archibald Bert (V80097)

Place of Birth: Albert Park, VIC

Age: 18 Years 9 Months

Enlistment Details: Wednesday, 11 September 1918 – Melbourne, VIC

Service Number: V80097 view online service record

195 Clark Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
William Field Duncan (father)
195 Clark Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: DNE

Discharged: Wednesday, 19 March 1919

Brother: Ernest William Duncan (5495)

The following information relating to Archibald Duncan comes from his Great Niece, Robyn Watters.

Archibald was the second youngest son of William Field Duncan. He was a railway porter at the time of enlistment at Footscray on 11 September 1918.  He was 5’ 6 ¾” and weighed a trim 124 pounds.  He was Church of England as were all his Duncan siblings.  He ensured his service as a S-cadet of four years standing was noted.

Archie’s service as a private in the Army at the Broadmeadows camp lasted 171 days.  He was certified as medically unfit on 22 November 1918 and discharged on 19 March 1919.  The re-occurrence of a pre-service hernia which needed another operation plus an appendectomy also performed in the AIF, ensured that Archie was deemed unfit for service.

To add insult to injury, he scored an adverse Conduct report on 13 January 1919.  Presumably by then, Archie knew he was going to be discharged and decided to act out his feelings.  His conduct though in the initial stage of recruitment before medical problems took over was good.

Archie’s war would have been considered a ‘fizzer’ but given his medical problems, it is likely that he was saved from further health issues as his AIF hernia operation was to fix an “incompetent” operation performed at the Homeopathic Hospital prior to enlistment.  He also had his appendix removed courtesy of the AIF medical service.  The medical attention expended on him may have been a saving grace of his short service.

Once discharged Archie returned to work as a railway porter.  He married another war veteran, Mary Alice Sherriff (b. 6 April 1890, Longwarry, VIC), a successful one in terms of length of service and they had five children.  Regrettably Archie’s life was to be marred by illness unlikely though to be related to war service.

Archibald died on 1 November 1957 in Ararat, VIC and is buried at Ararat Cemetery. Mary died on 28 January 1984 at Carrun, VIC and is buried at Cheltenham Memorial Park.


  • Charmaine Hepburn
    Posted January 4, 2021 10.10 am 0Likes

    This was my grandfather.

    • Robyn Watters
      Posted February 19, 2021 11.16 am 0Likes

      Hello cousin Charmaine, do you have a photo of Archie that can be uploaded?

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