The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Theodore Montgomery Archdale

ARCHDALE, Theodore Montgomery

Theodore Montgomery Archdale was born in Edinburgh on the 24th of September 1873 to Nicholas Montgomery Archdale and Adelaide Mary Porter. Nicholas was J.P. for County Longford and High Sheriff for County Fermanagh in 1861 and lived at Riversdale and, later, Crocknacrieve in Fermanagh. Theodore was the youngest of their eight children and Nicholas died in 1877 in a hunting accident.

Theodore was educated at Repton School in Derbyshire and entered the Royal Field Artillery from the Lancashire Militia in 1894. He was made Captain in 1901 and Major in 1911. He served with distinction in the Boer War, taking part in the relief of Ladysmith and won a D.S.O. and the Queen’s Medal with three clasps. He was twice mentioned in despatches.

In October 1901 he married Helen Alexander Russel, daughter of Alexander Russel, editor of The Scotsman. They had three children, Nicholas Montgomery 1902, Alexander Mervyn 1905 and Helen Elizabeth 1907. Helen Russel Archdale was known as a Scottish feminist, suffragette and journalist and in 1901 received a two month sentence in Holloway prison for breaking windows in Whitehall. During the war she worked with the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps and in the Ministry of National Service. Theodore and Helen appear to have become estranged about 1913.

Theodore Montgomery Archdale

He served in France during the war and was wounded in 1915 and again in 1917. He was discharged from Queen Alexandra’s Military Hospital at Millbank in January 1918. It is not known why Theodore Archdale, then Lieutenant Colonel, was on board RMS Leinster on the 10th of October 1918. He did not survive the sinking and it is not clear if his body was recovered but it appears that he may have been buried in St John’s Church in Clondalkin. His brother, Nicholas Francis Archdale, was living in Clondalkin in 1911 and presumably made the arrangements. No newspaper reports of a burial have been found. The name T.M. Archdale is recorded on the War Memorial and Roll of Honour in St John’s Church. He is also named on the Enniskillen War Memorial in County Fermanagh.




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