At age 25 Archibald Everett Bland arrived in Australia in May 1911 on the “Otway” from London. His occupation at the time was as a Porter. Shortly after settling in New South Wales he had met Belle (Isabella) Emery from Hamilton NSW and they were married in 1912.
Like other fellow sappers Fred Reynolds, Alfred Taylor, and William Phillips, Arch and Belle were all living at the popular beachside haven of Manly.
The call to war in 1914 would bring their idyllic Australian lifestyle to a halt.
When Arch enlisted in September 1914 he was nearly 30 years of age, noted as an engineer, he later embarked with 1st FCE Reinforcements under Lieut. Henry Bachtold. The 1st Reinforcements embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, aboard HMAT Berrima (A32) on 22 December 1914. On board Arch formed his closest friendships with fellow sappers 237 Evelyn Lloyd, 230 Robert Osborne Earle and 242 Thomas Cook.
Arch Bland was immortalised in the photo – “The Water Carrier” and will always be remembered as one of the great ANZAC’S.
2nd Corporal Archibald Bland died on this day 23rd July 1916 – 100 years ago at the “Battle Of Pozieres”
Sources: AWM, NAA, NLA, Manly Library NSW