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Archie Paxton and the Battle of the Somme


Olim meminisse iuvabit


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Welcome. This section of the website looks at the life of Archie Paxton, a pupil at Epsom College from 1908-1915. He had a happy time at school - a keen sportsman - but not able enough to become a doctor, he joined the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army in 1915. He had been well trained to become an officer in the school Officer Training Corps, so that after only 6 months training he found himself at the Front.

The website mostly shows Archie Paxton's own possessions, given to the Archive by his family. It includes the letters between Archie and his mother, keepsakes from his time at school and photographs of himself and his friends. There is a copy of Archie's orders for 1st July 1916, a map of the trenches and a photograph of Archie's original grave at Guillemont Cemetery.

Archie's death on the First Day of the Somme was in no way unusual, but we hope that getting to know him will help readers to appreciate the loss of so many soldiers more vividly.