Private Archie Platt


Archie Platt was born on 25 June 1898 in Taylor's Row, Coleraine, County Londonderry, the tenth of eleven children of carpenter Samuel Platt and his wife Jane (née McGrath). His father died just two years later, having drowned in the Foyle River. By the time of the 1911 Census Archie was living in Taylor's Row with his mother and four of his seven surviving siblings.

Platt enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Coleraine on 6 April 1916, reporting for duty at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp four days later. He was issued regimental number 2143. He gave his age as 19 (although he was not yet 18 at the time), and his occupation as carpenter.

Over the following months Platt was disciplined for a number of offences: on 22 May for being absent without leave for two days; on 25 July for being drunk and disorderly when on pass; on 8 August for breaking out of camp on 27 July and remaining absent until apprehended by the civil police, dressed in plain clothes; and on 5 September for refusing to obey an order of an NCO.

Platt was assessed by a medical officer on 11 September. He was found to be:

So mentally unstable as to be absolutely unfit from military standpoint. Very hazy ideas of right & wrong. Would never become an efficient soldier & might become violent & dangerous at any time. Punishment of no avail.

An immediate discharge was recommended. This took place on 14 September on medical grounds (paragraph 392(iii)(cc), King's Regulations) he being 'not likely to become an efficient soldier, recruit with more than three months service considered unfit for further military service'. His military character was recorded as 'indifferent'.

Following his discharge Platt returned to Coleraine and resumed work as a carpenter. On 24 January 1918 he married Rebecca McQuilkin in the Macosquin Presbyterian Church. He died in Coleraine on 7 October 1934 at the age of 36 (see article below).


Ballymoney Free Press, 18 October 1934