|Place of birth||Croxton West, Hamilton, Victoria|
|School||Yulecart State School, Victoria|
|Age at embarkation||22|
|Next of kin||Father, W.H. Francis, Yulecart, Hamilton, Victoria|
|Previous military service||Served in the 20th Light Horse, and in the 11th Australian Light Horse.|
|Place of enlistment||Broadmeadows, Victoria|
|Rank on enlistment||Corporal|
|Unit name||4th Light Horse Regiment, A Squadron|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||10/9/1|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A18 Wiltshire on
|Regimental number from Nominal Roll||Commissioned|
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Lieutenant|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||59th Battalion|
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Place of death or wounding||Polygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium|
|Age at death||25|
|Age at death from cemetery records||25|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), Belgium
The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.
The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.
Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.
|Panel number, Roll of Honour,|
Australian War Memorial
|Miscellaneous information from|
|Parents: William Hanchet and Johanne Christiane FRANCIS, Yulecart, Victoria. Native of Croxton, West Hamilton, VIctoria|
|Family/military connections||Brother: 6497 Pte William Edward FRANCIS, 7th Bn, returned to Australia, 14 January 1919.|
War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front
Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 15 May 1915. Sick to hospital, Gaba Tepe, 10 July 1915; admitted to 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance, Mudros, 11 July 1915 (ear trouble); transferred to Base, 26 July 1915; to St Andrew's Hospital, Malta, 29 July 1915; rejoined unit at Gallipoli, 24 August 1915. Promoted Sergeant, 7 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 27 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).
Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 10 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 17 June 1916. Transferred to 59th Bn, 2 September 1916.
Appointed 2nd Lt, 9 September 1916.
On command, Snipers' School of Instruction, Montede-Cato, 23 September 1916; rejoined Bn, 29 September 1916. Detached to 5th Division Gas School of Instruction, 10 October 1916; rejoined Bn, 12 October 1916. On command, 5th Division Infantry School, 17 November 1916; rejoined Bn, 24 December 1916.
On leave, 17 January 1917; rejoined Bn from leave, 4 February 1917.
Promoted Lt, 14 February 1917.
Wounded in action, 27 March 1917 (slight, resumed duty). On command, 5th Army Ifantry School, 30 March 1917; rejoined Bn, 6 May 1917. On furlough to Paris, 19 June 1917; rejoined Bn, 25 June 1917. On command, Snipers' School, 9 July 1917; rejoined Bn, 22 July 1917.
Died of wounds received in action, 26 September 1917. Statement by Temporary Commanding Officer, 59th Bn: 'Lieut. J.W. Francis was killed by a shell during the attack on 26.9.17. He was badly wounded all over the body, both legs being broken, and lived for a few minutes only, but he was not conscious. His body was carried to the rear but no definite information was ever received of his burial, though it was understood at the time that he was buried at BLACK WATCH CORNER [near Hazebrouck].'Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
|Sources||NAA: B2455, FRANCIS John Walter|
The AIF Project Website is copyright and the contents of the material may be subject to copyright protection under the Copyright Act 1968.
For permission to reproduce material from this Website please contact The AIF Project (firstname.lastname@example.org). Do not use this email address for general inquiries.
© AIF Project 2015