Archibald Roland Bunney
courtesy Neville Browning
|Date of Birth||c1885|
|Place of Birth||Mount Sorrell, Leicestershire, England|
|Place of Death||Merredin, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||30 years, 10 months|
5' 10½" (1.79m) tall ; 145 lbs|
65.771 kg; dark complexion ; light brown eyes ; dark brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Kelmscott, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs May Bunney|
|Date of Enlistment||9 Mar 1916|
|Unit/Formation||10th Light Horse Regiment, 25th Reinforcement; transferred to 3rd Machine Gun Squadron|
|Date of Embarkation||12 Feb 1917 ‒ 11 Mar 1917|
|Ship Embarked On||SS Karmala Fremantle to Suez|
|Date of Return||5 Feb 1919 ‒ 28 Feb 1919|
|Ship Returned On||HMHS Delta Suez to Fremantle|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
|Monument||Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)|
British War Medal |
Prior to emigrating to Australia in 1911, Archie had 7 years experience with the Leicestershire Imperial Yeomanry.
After entering camp Archibald spent a month with the 53rd Depot Company before being allocated to a number of units (18th reinforcements for 11th Battalion; Engineer reinforcements; and after shifting to the Claremont camp, the 22nd reinforcements to the 10th Light Horse Regiment, and the 24th reinforcements to 10th Light Horse Regiment). He eventually went overseas with the 25th reinforcement draft for the 10th Light Horse regiment.
On arrival in Egypt he was sent to Moascar, and a fortnight later on 26 Mar 1917 he was taken on strength by the 10th Light Horse Regiment rear echelon. On 24 Apr 1917 he joined the main body in the field as the allies recovered from failing to capture Gaza at the first attempt.
On 19 May 1917 he became ill with tonsillitis and was seen by the 3rd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance and the 54th Casualty Clearing Station on 21 May 1917 before being sent for treatment to the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital at El Arish. On 1 Jun 1917 Archibald was placed on an Ambulance Train for transfer to the 14th Australian General Hospital in Cairo. After treatment he was released to a Convalescent Depot in Montazah on 12 Jun 1917, remaining with them until 2 Jul 1917. During this time, on 21 May 1917 he was transferred to the 3rd Machine Gun Company, but seemingly wasn't taken on strength by them until 3 Aug 1917.
On 16 Nov 1917 Archibald was treated by the 3rd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance, and a few days later on 21 Nov 1917 he was sent to the 74th Casualty Clearing Station. He was then admitted to the 74th Casualty Clearing Station with tonsillitis (Quinsey) where he remained until 21 Dec 1917. He was then sent to a Rest Camp at Port Suez until 20 Jan 1918 when he marched out to Moascar.
Following training in Moascar on the Vickers Machine Gun, he joined the 3rd Brigade Machine Gun Squadron in the field on 17 Apr 1918 as they approached Jerusalem from the south.
On 15 Jun 1918 he was seen by the 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance before being transferred to 24th Stationary Hospital and then sent via 34th Casualty Clearing Station to the 31st General Hospital in Cairo. On 7 Jul 1918 he was transferred to a convalescent depot and on 9 Aug 1918 as a result of his medical history his role changed to that of Driver.
He has one final period in hospital commencing 9 Nov 1918 at the Military Hospital in Choubra, transferring to a convalescent depot at Boulac before being discharged to Cairo on 3 Dec 1918. After leave in Cairo he returned to the Moascar based Machine Gun Training Squadron. On 5 Feb 1919 Archibald was sent back to Australia from Suez on Compassionate Leave.
He was discharged by the 5th Military District on 6 Apr 1919
The 1925 Electoral Roll lists Archie as being a contractor who has moved to Kununoppin with his wife May (who died on 1 Dec 1962 aged 76), where he remains until his death in 1969.
Their children were: Sidney Roland (born 1912, died 11 Oct 2000 at North Beach aged 88) who married Mary Quirke; Raymond George (b. 1914, died 24 Dec 2006 at Greenwood, aged 92); Robert (born 1923 died 30 Sep 1947 aged 24); Archibald Frank (born 24 Jul 1925); and Geoffrey (born 19 May 1928, died 22 Mar 1974 aged 45 in Kununoppin).
Archibald married May, who was from Northamptonshire, just a fortnight before the couple emigrated to Australia (leaving 20 January 1911 and arriving 21 February 1911). He had planned to become a market gardener and came to Kelmscott to be near his brother George. Archibald worked for a time carting trees to Buckingham's Mill.
Elizabeth Bunney (wife of Ray Bunney) said of Archibald "I remember him telling me once that he wasn’t on horseback at the Charge of Beersheba, he was driving an ammunition wagon at the gallop. So that was – I think that must have been a very risky and very brave thing to do."
May Bunney taught Sunday School at St Mary's In the Valley Anglican Church on River Road in Kelmscott.