Thursday, 20 April 2017

John Archer honoured at Wandsworth Citizenship Ceremony

From Wandsworth Council website press release

On Wednesday 5 April as biographer of John Archer, Battersea’s Black Mayor in 1913/14, I was invited to attend the special Wandsworth Citizenship Ceremony at which Guy Hewitt, the High Commissioner for Barbados to the United Kingdom, presented the Mayor of Wandsworth, Cllr Richard Field, with an award to be accepted on behalf of Archer.

As he was the son of a Barbadian father and Irish mother, with no direct descendants alive today, the award was presented to the Council.

It is one of 50 being given to recognise the significant contribution of Barbadians to the UK, to remind the community, and future generations, of the need to serve others with pride and industry.

In his speech Mayor Cllr Field said: 

“In John Archer’s time local government was seeing great change and opportunity and Archer set about improving the lives of many in the community, the poor and disabled, and was a passionate campaigner for what he believed was right. He fought hard against social and racial injustice.”

Mr Hewitt said that the award to Wandsworth was to recognise John Archer’s contribution, adding that for a part of his own life he also had lived in Battersea in Cupar Rd not far from where Archer’s house in Brynamer Rd was, and his photographer’s shop on Battersea Park Rd. Both properties have plaques on them, the former by English Heritage, the latter by Nubian Jak Community Trust as part of a project with local schools.
This Citizenship event is one of a  series at which people living in Wandsworth from other parts of the world are given British citizenship. They are officiated by members of the citizenship team Sarah Taylor and Sandra Macniven, both of Barbadian heritage.
Barbados became independent from British colonial rule in 1966. The awards were part of the contribution of the High Commission to commemorating that anniversary.

The full list of the 50 awards cane be seen in The Voice at:

The Council press release on the event can be seen at:

The stamp image on the left of picture is an enlargement of the stamp issue by Royal Mail in 2013.

A copy of a video made as part of the Nuban Jak project can be seen at

To order by biographical sketch of John Archer go to

A Photo by Archer Discovered

An important find in relation to John Archer is a formally posed photograph taken by him of a young man leaning against a table with a painted background of an open window.  Local historian David Ainsworth found it on an auction site. On the back is Archer’s name and the address of his study (208 Battersea Park Road).

The image can be seen in the latest issue of Wandsworth Historian, the journal of the Wandsworth Historical Society. No. 103, Spring 2017.

The new edition also includes articles on:
  • ·       Australian war dead in Wandsworth cemetery
  • ·       Wandsworth the Spanish Civil War
  • ·       Putney Old Burial Ground; with potted biographies of the following people buried there: Stratford Canning, Joseph Lucas, Harriet Thomson, Robert Wood, William Leader, Rev. Daniel Pettiward, Rev. Richard J. St,. Aubyn, James Scarth and Lt-Gen George Porter.

The issue can be ordered through

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