Francis William Ernest Hemming, born in Paddington, London in 1885, was the son of Francis Joseph Bache Hemming, an Accountant and Annie Hemming (nee Jones), the eldest of four children one of which died in childhood.
1891 Census records Francis aged 5, at school and living with his parents, brother Arthur 4, and sister Annie 2, at Osborne Villa, Brougham Road, Acton, Middlesex. The family had a live-in Domestic Servant.
1901 Census records Francis aged 15, working as a Junior Clerk, living at home with his parents, brother Arthur 14, sisters Annie 12 and May 9, at ‘Granville’, Watford Place, Watford, Herts. (Sister Annie died in 1902).
By 1911 they had settled at 58 Kingsfield Road, Watford, where they had two boarders and a domestic servant. Francis was employed as a commercial clerk in a chocolate factory and lived at home with his parents and sister May.
In the summer of 1913, he married Jessie Kipling, the eldest daughter of Walter and Laura Kipling, of Falconer Road, Bushey. John Lionel Calvert Booth, an artist from the Herkomer Art School, was a lodger at their house. Francis and Jessie made their home at 44 Rudolph Road, Bushey. The had three children Ernest, Joseph, and Stanley.