Historical information

Henri John ARCHER was born in Brunswick Victoria, Australia, on 27th May 1907, to parents William Thomas and Hetta (née LAWSON) ARCHER. In 1934, Henri married Stella Florence COLLER, and they had 3 children.
Living in Balwyn, Victoria, and employed as an Insurance Superintendent, Henri commenced full-time duty as an officer in the Citizen Military Forces from 7th July 1940, until 20th February 1941 (number V7097). His appointment in the rank of Major with the 7th Infantry Battalion was due to him having served part time as an officer in the CMF since 1927.
On 21st February 1941, Henri joined the Australian Imperial Force and was appointed as a Major, with the number VX39872. Following the completion of various armoured corps training courses at Puckapunyal, he was taken on strength with the 2nd/8th Armoured Regiment. On 17th April 1943, Henri embarked for service in New Guinea, for a period of 2 months. He again embarked on 3rd September 1943, for service in Rabaul, returning to Australia on 6th February 1944.
Following the end of the War, on 8th May 1946, Henri was appointed as a member of the War Crimes Courts with HQ 8MD, and embarked for duty with the War Crimes Trials in Rabaul two days later. Henri returned to Australia on 15th August 1946, and was subsequently transferred to the Reserve of Officers (Armoured Corps) list for the 3rd Military District (Victoria) on 27th November 1946. He was awarded the Efficiency Decoration, as well as the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, 1939-45 War Medal and the Australia Service Medal. He was also issued Returned from Active Service Badge number A343705.
Henri died in Melbourne on 27th July 1971, aged 64, and his ashes are interred in the Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Banksia Wall ZJ, Niche 01.
(Compiled by Karan CAMPBELL-DAVIS from historical records kept by Births, Deaths and Marriages Victoria, the National Archives of Australia, and Find A Grave website. )

Physical description

Photograph mounted with timber frame. Some manuscript inscriptions of reverse.

Inscriptions & markings

HENRI JOHN ARCHER / VX39872 / B 27 MAY 1907 / ENL 7 JULY 1940 / DISCH 26 NOV 1946 / OC A SQN 2/8 AAR [and] PURCHASED FROM EBAY / MAY 2024 [followed by signature undecipherable]