Charles William Francis


Charles William Francis


First World War

Date of Death / Age


Rank, Service Number & Service Details

Rifle Brigade
1st Bn.


1914 (Mons) Star, British War and Victory Medals


Panel 46, 48 and 50.

UK Memorials

All Saints Church, Datchworth
Roll of Honour, All Saints Church, Datchworth
Not on the Watton-at-Stone memorials

Pre War

Charles William Francis was born in in Bermondsey in 1885 to Charles and Elizabeth Francis. In 1891 he is shown as William, living with Parents and his father is a brewer’s drayman. In 1901 he is shown in Bermondsey, with father Charles, a widower, who is still a brewer’s drayman. Charles occupation looks like “engineer" but is difficult to read. In 1903 he joined the Rifle Brigade (his attestation paper survives) having served in the Militia (East Surreys) before then. By 1911 his father had remarried and moved, and is shown as the landlord of the Three Horseshoes at Hooks Cross, Datchworth, which accounts for Charles's appearance on the memorial, though, being in the army, he probably didn't live there much. Perhaps being a drayman for so many years helped his father get the tenancy.

Wartime Service

He enlisted at Kingston on Thames into the Rifle Brigade and he arrived in France 23.08.1914, landing at Le Havre. He was killed during the second battle of Ypres in April 1915.

Additional Information

After his death, he was recorded as the son of Charles Francis, of Hook's Cross, Watton at Stone, Hertford, and the late Elizabeth Francis. His army service papers have survived.


June Colegrove, Adrian Pitts, Pat Bird