Archibald Campbell

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Daylesford, Victoria, Australia

General information


Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Geelong, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 58th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Polygon Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private Archibald Campbell served in the Australian Infantry 58th Battalion, part of the 15th Australian Brigade of the 5th Australian Division.
The 5th Australian participated in the Battle of Polygonwood on the 26th of September 1917. The 58th Australian Battalion took over the front line from the 56th Australian Battalion on the 23rd of September 1917. Two Companies occupied the 1st and 2nd lines, while two other Companies occupied shell holes in the rear of the lines as far back as Glencorse Wood. The Battalion helped to repulse a German attack on the 25th of September. The Germans had gained a footing in the sector right of the 58th Australian Battalion, but were eventually driven back after A Company of the 58th Australian Battalion attacked.
The Germans started shelling the whole area with intervals at 1 a.m. on the 26th of September, while the men of the 5th Australian Division prepared to attack. The Division was to advance at 5.50 a.m. with three Brigades. The attack was carried out by the 14th Brigade on the left of the Divisional front. The 15th and the 8th Brigades attacked on the right. The 8th Australian Brigade with the 29th and 31st Battalions and the 15th Brigade with the 59th Battalion; the 58th Battalion was to remain in support.
At 5.50 a.m. the troops moved forward behind a creeping barrage. The 59th, 29th and 31st Battalions got intermixed. Their advance came to a standstill, when they encountered resistance from two German pill-boxes on the Southwest corner of Polygon Wood. The attack had been halted on the racecourse in Polygon Wood, 150 yards from their first objective. Notwithstanding the German machine gun fire, the 31st and 29th Battalion moved through the 59th and advanced to the second objective. The 31st came under fire from German bunkers on their right in the 33rd Divisional area They extended their flank, but were soon fired upon from Cameron House. At 7.30 a.m. the 31st decided to halt till the 33rd Division had re-established contact with their right flank. Contact was made and the 31st and 29th Australian Brigades managed to consolidate the second objective at the far end of the Polygon Wood at 11 a.m.
The 58th remained in support throughout the attack. At noon on the 26th of September 1917, when the attack had died down, the Germans started shelling the whole area intermittently. The Germans launched a counterattack from the direction of Cameron House at 6.15 p.m. The attack was dispersed by an artillery- and machine gun barrage. The artillery on both sides remained active throughout the day till 10 p.m.
Private Archibald Campbell fell on the 26th of September 1917, during the first day of the Battle of Polygon Wood. He was probably killed due to German shell fire, while in support at Polygoon Wood. His remains were never recovered and he is now remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial.

Files 1

Sources 3

58th Australian Infantry Battalion, (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/75/20).
Sources used
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455, CAMPBELL A).
Sources used
McCarthy C.,, The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 85-88.
Sources used

More information 4