PRIVATE FRED FRANCIS

No 57490 2nd Battalion Manchester Regt.

Fred was born in 1900, to Francis and Elizabeth, at Clive Terrace Montgomery, and was the younger brother of Frank (see above). It is likely that Fred, like many young men, lied about his age in order to enlist. He may have felt inspired to enlist by seeing his brother Frank return to the front, and he enlisted at Wrexham, aged 17, rather than at Welshpool like many men living in Montgomery. We can assume that he lied about his age because his age on the Commonwealth War Graves site is given as 21, rather than his correct age, 18. Unlike his brother Frank, no papers remain which relate to Fred.

It is a possibility that his papers were destroyed during the blitz in the second World War, as the Records Office suffered a hit and a catastrophic fire ensued, destroying many valuable documents.

The records which do survive show that as a soldier in the 2nd Battalion the Manchester Regiment, Fred would have been serving under Wilfred Owen, the well known war poet, who won the Military Cross for his action in the battle at Joncourt at which Fred lost his life. Wilfred Owen was to lose his own life a month later.

Private Fred Francis was killed on the 2nd of October 1918, a month before the end of the war, and is buried at Joncourt British Cemetery grave ref: 22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The picture shows the Joncourt British Cemetery,where Fred is buried, and which is small, with only 58 graves in total.