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starkstarkArchibald Logan Stark’s parents were John and Agnes Stark (nee Logan) and they were both from Scotland. John was from Crammond near Edinburgh and Agnes from Leith. They were married in Scotland around 1878/79.

They had seven children; the first four were all born in Scotland, Elizabeth (1880), James (1882), Marion (1885) and Jennet (1888). After Jennet was born they made the journey down to England and settled in Preston where three more children followed, Margaret (1889) then Archibald (1892) and finally Grace Williamson (1897).

In 1911 the family were living at 41 Milner Street, Preston. John Stark was a carpenter/joiner and he was working as a joiner in a biscuit works and Archie was employed as a plumber`s apprentice.

Archie`s service papers do not appear to have survived but later information confirms that he enlisted on the 24 October, 1914 and was allocated the service number 3100 which would later be changed to 200908. At some point he was posted to “E” Coy 1/4th Battalion. His medal index card confirms he embarked with the 1/4th Battalion on the 4 May, 1915.

It was only a month or so after they landed that the 1/4th Battalion were involved in their first actions of the War around Festubert. The people of Preston were kept informed by way of the local papers about the famous bayonet charge the Battalion had made on the 15 June, 1915. A great many of the men were killed, wounded or posted as missing, Archie was posted as missing.

It seems that Archie was wounded but he was finally picked up by the Germans and taken prisoner. Eventually he was able to inform his parents of his whereabouts and some of the details were reported in the Preston Guardian.

“Preston Soldier`s Letter from Germany –

Private A. Stark (22) whose home is at 32 Charnock Street, Preston took part in the bayonet charge by the 1/4th Loyal North Lancs Territorials on June 15th, when he was wounded and taken prisoner. He was formerly employed by Mr. France, Painter of Bamber Bridge. A few days ago his parents received official word that he was missing, and they had already been informed by one of his comrades that he had been wounded. Their son, however, has now notified them of his whereabouts and allayed their anxiety. His letter comes from the Concentration Camp at Mulheim Ruhr, Germany where Private Stark is a hospital inmate suffering from a bullet wound in the thigh.

He writes….I am keeping as well as can be expected. I got the wound on June 15th. I was taken prisoner, worse luck, but there was nothing else for it, all our men had to retreat and left us where we lay. I lay out in the open for four days and nights before I was picked up, and I was glad when they carried me away. We are getting jolly well treated, I can tell you. I am quite all right here and I will be home quite safe as soon as the war is over.

I have one of my old pals, Billy Gregson with me, lying with his left leg and arm broken”.

Archie spent a few months in the camp hospital at Mulheim and was later transferred to various other camps including, Dulmen and Mannheim. His last recorded camp on the 26 June, 1918 was Munster 1 which was in open farming country located outside of the city of Munster. There is no further information available other than Archie survived and was eventually repatriated back to England.

Private Archibald Logan Stark was finally discharged from the Army on 27 March, 1919 and received a Silver War Badge with the number B248818.

Archie also received the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals.

In 1921 he married local girl Bertha Alice Haugh in Preston. Archie died in Preston in 1964 aged 71.

Note: Archie mentions his old pal Billy Gregson, this was 2955 Private William Gregson 1/4th Battalion and Billy was also wounded and taken prisoner on the 15th June, 1915. Sadly, Billy Gregson died at Mulheim on the 25th July, 1915 and is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery.

William Gregson was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Gregson, of 22, St. Andrew’s Road, Preston. William enlisted in the 1/4th (Territorial) Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire on 20th October 1914. He had no previous service but was embodied the same day. William sailed from Folkestone to France with the main body of the Battalion on 4th May 1915. One month later, on 15th June 1915 William sustained gunshot wounds to his left leg and leg arm and was taken Prisoner of War. His death in captivity on 25th July 1915 was attributed to Cardiac weakness.

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Janet Davis

Janet Davis

Janet Davis has been researching her family history for many years and through this she discovered many relatives who served in WW1. This interest then led Janet to do many walking the battlefield tours with her husband. In April 2013 she discovered this website and volunteered to help. Janet believes that there are lots of stories still to be told, most of them very sad but at the same time they are a fascinating insight into the men, their families, what they did and where they came from.
Janet Davis

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