A First War Medal Group with Two Memorial Crosses; 20th Batt.
A First War Medal Group with Two Memorial Crosses; 20th Batt. - 1914-15 Star (413085 Pte A. McNIVEN. 20/CAN: INF:); War Medal (413065 L. CPL. A. MC NIVEN. 20-CAN. INF.); Victory Medal (413065 L. CPL. A. MC NIVEN. 20-CAN. INF.); and two GRV Memorial Crosses (413065 L-Cpl. A. McNIVEN). Naming is officially impressed on the Trio and engraved on the two Memorial Crosses. Un-mounted, dark patinas on the BWM and one MC, light contact, better than very fine. Footnote: Archibald McNiven was born on April 17, 1880 in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of Archibald McNiven and Mary McNiven of Renton, Scotland. He was married to Elizabeth McNiven of Toronto, Ontario, and together they had two young daughters at the time of his enlistment. McNiven signed his Attestation Paper as a Private with the 39th Infantry Battalion, on March 15, 1915 at Lindsay, Ontario, at the age of 34, naming his next-of-kin as his wife, Elizabeth McNiven of Toronto, stating that he had no previous military service, that he was married and that his trade was that of Bricklayer, which he had been employed at in Canada for the past eighteen years. The Battalion was raised in Southeastern Ontario with mobilization headquarters at Belleville, Ontario under the authority of G.O. 86, July 1, 1915. The Battalion sailed June 24, 1915 under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.A.V. Preston with 40 officers and 1,003 other ranks. It was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion in England. Preston was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal and was later transferred to the 20th Infantry Battalion "1st Central Ontario Regiment" for service in the French theatre. Although his Obituary in the Toronto Star of October 19, 1916 indicates the he "Died in Action", he is officially listed as having "Died of Disease" (DOD) on October 5, 1916. He is buried in Contay British Cemetery, Contay, Department of the Somme, France, Grave Reference: I. F. 32., on the main road from Amiens to Arras and is commemorated on page 130 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. For his First World War service, he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. His wife, Elizabeth, was notified of his death by telegram, later receiving his Memorial Cross, as did his mother, Mary.