Francis was born in Dedham, Essex, England in 1892 and was a farmer at Parwan, VIC when he enlisted in the AIF, 9th Reinforcements, 21st Battalion on the 1st of July 1915, aged 23. He embarked aboard the HMAT A20 Hororata in late September with the 4th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion. After joining his unit in Egypt in January 1916 he embarked from Alexandria in March, arriving in France a few days later.
Towards the end of July 1916 Francis was involved in the Battle of Pozieres where his actions saw him recommended for the Military Medal:-
For five days at Pozieres these soldiers distinguished themselves by most gallant devotion to duty as volunteer stretcher bearers carrying the wounded through heavy artillery fire. The conduct of these soldiers has been a valuable object lesson to those who might have otherwise held the barrage too dangerous ….Source: Recommendation for the Military Medal
On the 3rd of May 1917 the 24th Battalion participated in the Second Battle of Bullecourt where they suffered 80% casualties. In May 1918 Francis was appointed Driver and two months later was in hospital for a week with influenza. He was granted leave in England in September and before rejoining his unit he married Effie Lydia Rule. Francis returned to England in late January 1919 and embarked for Australia aboard the Zealandic in July with his wife. Arriving back in Australia in August, he was discharged from the AIF in October.
Francis died at Heidelberg, VIC in 1967, aged 74.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh.
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Last updated by lee, Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:37:07