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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

CSM 7724 John William Thomas FRANCIS


GrahamC
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Hi Pals

Can anyone help me to establish where and why this soldier was awarded the French MM. He served with the 1st Cheshires as CSM of 'B' Company from the outbreak of the War, was wounded and died in Chester on 25 May 1915. He is buried in Chester Overleigh Cemetery.

Many thanks in anticipation!!

Graham

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  • 3 weeks later...

Graham.

Picture of his grave. I went down to Overleigh Cemetery yesterday and found him this morning.

CSM at 27 he must have been a fantastic soldier.

What and why did he end up in Chester?

Cheers

Atnomis..Simon

003-4.jpg

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Sergeant Major Francis died at Nottingham, and was buried with full military honours in his native city of Chester. He was stationed in Derry prior to the outbreak of the Great War.

Not only was he mentioned in despatches, but he was also awarded for gallantry at Le Cateau the French Medaille Militaire. In regimental athletics he had a fine record. He was a good footballer and the champion middleweight boxer of the regiment.

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Hi

There was an article in the Spring 1991 OMRS Journal regarding the first awards of the French Medaille Militaire (FMM).

There were 200 recipients in three Army Orders, 2 X 1914 1 X 1915

J W T Francis is listed in AO 466 which contained 198 recipients for gallantry during operations between 21 Aug & 30 Aug 1914. There were no restrictions as to wearing the decorations.

These were not gazetted and the first award gazetted was FM French LG 16 Mar 1915. The next gazetted awards were to OR's of the Army LG 24 Feb 1916.

Regards

ForeignGong

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  • 2 months later...

:blush: Atnomis, IPT and ForeignGong

I'm dreadfully sorry - I lost track of this post after the initial response and have only just come across it again. That's the problem with the 'Soldiers' listings, they quickly disappear to about page 5!!

Many many thanks for the photo of his grave, Simon. If you are passing Overleigh again (after the snow melts) I would like a photo of Private 8610 Charles Charlton NUTTALL - Grave 4293.

I am building a website of all the 1/Cheshire lads who served with my grandad in the original BEF and gave their lives, mostly in those first few months of the War. Overleigh cemetery page is - here.

I have updated my page on the details you have given but if any of you have any more info on CSM Francis I would be delighted to include them. His Records are not on Ancestry but you seem to have gleaned far more than me and I would like to add to his bibliography.

Will try to keep up this time!!

Cheers pals

Graham

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  • 2 months later...
  • 8 years later...

Hi I have just found this forum and discovered my Great Grandfather CSM John William Thomas Francis of 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment.

I have photograph of him in uniform and of his regiment along with his French MM and Certificate.

i am very impressed by the nice words spoken of him and very proud of him.

Anthony

 

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A very nice revival of this old thread!

 

BillyH.

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  • 7 months later...

His full dress portrait shows him as a colour-sergeant, physical training and gymnastics instructor, a sergeant of the best shooting company, and holder of the distance judging qualification.

In 1914 the colour sergeants of infantry became either CSM or Company QM sergeants.

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The register of soldiers effect show he died of wounds

in Bagthorpe Military Hospital Nottingham

His wife Florence and mother Ellen the legatees of his effects

bagthorpe.JPG.336eb8146e984bf8abeb10bcb1718a94.JPG

 

Ray

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Find my Past has a First World War Medical Record. 7th May 1915, No 3 Casualty Clearing Station  G S W to head.

 

Bob

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