ARCHIE WILLIAM CURTIS and THE SALISBURY BUS
ARCHIE CURTIS was born in 1898 the son of John and Ellen Susan Curtis.
John Curtis can be seen in the right hand photograph, on the left of the picture. He had a wooden leg and was often known locally as 'Peggy' Curtis.
In the background of the photograph is Jasmine Cottage. Adjoining it is Rose Cottage. This was the home of John and Ellen and their family of five children.
Archie William Curtis is seated second left and was the driver of the Salisbury Bus. On his right is Bob Early, the 'clippie' and far right is Cedric Walter Charles Curtis. Looking over the hedge is Ellen Susan Curtis. See Archie Curtis on the ROLL OF HONOUR
Archie Curtis joined the Navy in 1913 and served on two of the first submarines, H2 and H4. At one stage he travelled on a submarine to the Dardenelles and Venice. In 1920 he returned to West Grimstead and in 1922 he married Florence Phoebe Penny and they moved into Yew Tree Cottage. Over time the couple had four children, all of whom were baptized in St John's Church. According to Archie's Granddaughter, following his return to West Grimstead, Archie Curtis, bought a bus. This was a charabanc which had a canopy that folded down, rather like a pram. When he wasn't carrying passengers he would remove the canopy and seats in order to transport other things such as coal, etc; scrubbing out the bus ready to drive his passengers once again to Salisbury!
Eventually Archie sold the bus, I believe to a Mr. Moore of Lockerley, whose service was subsequently taken over by Buddens Coaches. Archie Curtis remained the driver of the bus during this time but, competition from Wilts and Dorset Bus Company, proved too much for the small company and Archie eventually became unemployed.
In the 1930's employment was difficult and Archie and his family moved away from West Grimstead, living in several different places such as Charlton All Saints and Whaddon. The family eventually ended up in Southampton.
Archie Curtis volunteered for the Army Reserve (Royal Army Ordnance Corp) on 23rd January 1936 and was mobilised on 2nd September 1939. He was re-transferred to the Army Reserve 1st August 1942.
By the 1950's Archie was earning his living driving wedding and funeral cars.With grateful thanks to the Granddaughter of Archie William Curtis for the above information