Francis KITTO

KITTO, Francis

Service Number: 1404
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
Born: Wellington, New Zealand, 29 March 1881
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Railway Porter
Died: Illness, United Kingdom, 25 November 1918, aged 37 years
Cemetery: Tidworth Military Cemetery, England
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Haymarket NSW Government Railway and Tramway Honour Board, Haymarket Railways Traffic Branch Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

25 Jun 1915: Involvement Private, 1404, 18th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '12' embarkation_place: Sydney embarkation_ship: HMAT Ceramic embarkation_ship_number: A40 public_note: ''
25 Jun 1915: Embarked Private, 1404, 18th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Sydney
14 Jul 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 1404, 18th Infantry Battalion, Bullet wound to right hip. Evacuated to Reading Military Hospital.
14 Jul 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, 1404, 18th Infantry Battalion, Bullet wound to right hip. Evacuated to Reading Military Hospital.
25 Nov 1918: Involvement Private, 1404, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 1404 awm_unit: Australian Flying Corps awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1918-11-25

Help us honour Francis Kitto's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by John Oakes

Francis KITTO (Service Number 1404) was born on 29th March 1881 at Wellington, New Zealand. From July 1913 he worked as a temporary porter at Darling Harbour in the NSW Government Railways Traffic Branch. He was granted leave to join the Expeditionary Forces on 16th April 1915.

Kitto enlisted at Liverpool a few days later and was allotted to the 18th Australian Infantry Battalion. He was unmarried and gave his father, who was still living in New Zealand as his next of kin. His military career began with his embarkation at Sydney, aboard HMAT ‘Ceramic’ on 25th June 1915. When the rest of the 18th Battalion embarked at Alexandria for Gallipoli on 16th August 1915, he wasn’t with them – he had deserted. He was eventually found and did join the British Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli finally on 4th October 1915. However, by 22 October he was in the 16th General Hospital at Mudros (on the Greek island of Lemnos) with a contused wound to his hip. He made it back to Gallipoli by 5th December, but the whole force was evacuated by 19th December. Kitto was back at Alexandria by 9th January 1916. He had a  short stay at the 5th Field Ambulance at Mudros on the journey.

On 22th January 1916 he was in disciplined:

‘CRIME Being a member of the Transport Police did quit his post without orders from a Superior Officer. AWL from 2100 8/1/16 till 2100 17/1/16. AWARD 21 Days detention TOTAL FORFEITURE 31 days pay.’

In February he was admitted to the Australian Stationary Hospital with conjunctivitis and then dental problems. After a sequence of hospitals, he was back on strength on 4th March 1916 and embarked on ‘Royal George’ at Alexandria (Egypt) for passage to Marseilles and the British Expeditionary Force in France, where he arrived on 28th June. In July he was in trouble again:

‘CRIME (1) Absent from Billet at 2132 (2) Breaking arrest. AWARD 28 days FP No. 2’

On 19 July 1916 he was wounded, and this led to evacuation through Outreau and Boulogne to Reading Military Hospital.  The wound was described as bullet wound right hip, bullet wound thigh, gunshot wound arm and leg. It was January 1917 before he had convalesced, but it was not long before he was in trouble again:

‘CHARGE Absent w/o leave in that he at No 2 Aux Hosp Southall absented himself w/o leave from 10am 1/12/16 till he was apprehended at Pentonville on 11/1/17. SENTENCE detention for 12 days from 15/2/17.’

He had been in custody 34 days already, and also forfeited 88 days pay.

After his detention he had some leave.

He was again absent on 28th March. He was apprehended by the Military Police on 12th April.

‘OFFENCE Perham Downs 4/4/17 absent w/o leave from 3pm 4.4.17 till 11pm 11/4/17. AWARD 8 days FP No 2. 2 days in custody awaiting trial. TOTAL FORFEITURE 18 days pay’

Kitto was admitted to Bulford Hospital with VD, and it was the end of May1917  and had 42 days treatment before he was in good health.  A series of transfers to training and convalescent units followed.

On 2nd January 1918 he was AWL again. At the end of the month had VD again, though treatment this time only took 17 days. It recurred in March. This was followed by Measles and then VD again in April and May.

Another court martial was held in June 1918, though the offences stretched back into 1917. This time he was sentenced to 90 days detention and the forfeiture of 265 days’ pay.

In October he was AWL again, incurring 20 days of FP No. 2 and the forfeiture of 33 days pay.

On 16th November 1918, after the end of the war, Kitto was admitted to Sutton Veny Military Hospital seriously ill with Influenza and Pneumonia. He died on 25th November.  Somehow among all the transfers, hospitalisations and detentions Kitto had become a member of the Australian Flying Corps, and this is the unit to which he is ascribed in the records.

He was buried with full military honours in the Military Cemetery at Tidworth.

‘The funeral was preceded by a Firing party from the Australian Machine Gun Training Depot. Six Australians supported the pall.  Headquarters A.I.F. Depots in United Kingdom were represented at the funeral.’

- based on the Australian War Memorial Honour Roll and notes for the Great Sydney Central Station Honour Board.