Ernest Francis

Ernest Edward Francis

Personal Details

Ernest Edward Francis was born in Chelmarsh, Shropshire in 1896. He was the eldest son of Edward and Henrietta Francis of 8 Chemistry, Whitchurch.

Prior to joining the war Ernest was an apprentice bootmaker.

Military Details

Regiment : XIth Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, formerly Royal Veterinary Corps No W248

Rank : Driver
Service Number : 217889

Killed in Action; Belgium 25th April 1918 Age 22

Medals and Awards
Ernest was awarded the Campaign Medals (British War Medal and Allied Victory Medal)

Campaign Medals

Great War History Hub Whitchurch Shropshire Medals Front Image

The British War Medal (also known as 'Squeak') was a silver or bronze medal awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 6.5 million British War Medals were issued. Approximately 6.4 million of these were the silver versions of this medal. Around 110,000 of a bronze version were issued mainly to Chinese, Maltese and Indian Labour Corps. The front (obv or obverse) of the medal depicts the head of George V. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

The Allied Victory Medal (also known as 'Wilfred') was issued by each of the allies. It was decided that each of the allies should each issue their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory. Approximately 5.7 million victory medals were issued. Interestingly, eligibility for this medal was more restrictive and not everyone who received the British War Medal ('Squeak') also received the Victory Medal ('Wilfred'). However, in general, all recipients of 'Wilfred' also received 'Squeak' and all recipients of The 1914 Star or The 1914/1915 Star (also known as 'Pip') also received both 'Squeak' and 'Wilfred'. The recipient's service number, rank, name and unit was impressed on the rim.

Further Information

Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News June 1916

Report in the Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News June 1916 regarding the death of Ernest Edward Francis

"Mr & Mrs Francis, 152 Wrexham Road, Whitchurch have received many expressions of sympathy in the death in action on the 25th April of their son, Bombardier Ernest Edward Francis RFA. He had been in the Army since February 1916, before enlisting he was in the employment of JR Bennett, Green End, Whitchurch"

Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News June 1916

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919

Taken from Forces War Records

If you can provide any further information on Ernest Edward Francis please get in touch by leaving a comment below, using our Contact Form or by calling in to Whitchurch Heritage Centre.

Information provided by Terry Evanson Whitchurch, Shropshire and Whitchurch Museum and Archives

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