Francis Gerald HOUSTON


HOUSTON, Francis Gerald

Service Number: 4811
Enlisted: 12 July 1915, Bendigo, Vic.
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 57th Infantry Battalion
Born: Goroke, Victoria, Australia, 25 August 1896
Home Town: Bendigo, Greater Bendigo, Victoria
Schooling: Hawthorn West State School, Melbourne High School, Bendigo High School
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Accidental Wound, London, England, United Kingdom, 8 December 1916, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Kensal Green (All Souls) Cemetery
Grave 173 and 174. 2.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bank of New South Wales Roll of Honour Book
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World War 1 Service

12 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4811, 7th Infantry Battalion, Bendigo, Vic.
7 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4811, 7th Infantry Battalion
7 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4811, 7th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Wiltshire, Melbourne
20 Apr 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 57th Infantry Battalion, Egypt
12 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 57th Infantry Battalion, France
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 4811, 57th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
7 Oct 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 4811, 57th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt, GSW to gluteal region. Evacuated to UK. Died 8 December 1916 in London (deemed accidental).
8 Dec 1916: Involvement Corporal, SN 4811, 57th Infantry Battalion

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

Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

He was 20 and the son of James and Sarah Louise Houston, of Waterloo St., Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

The summary below was completed by Cathy Sedgwick – Facebook “WW1 Australian War Graves in England/UK

Died on this date - 8th December.......Francis Gerald Houston was born at Goroke, Victoria in 1896. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (A.I.F.) on 12th July, 1915 as an 18 year old Bank Clerk from Bendigo, Victoria.

Private Houston arrived in France on 23rd June, 1916 & was promoted to Corporal on 12th July, 1916.

Corporal Houston was wounded in action on 7th October, 1916. He was invalided to England admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England on 12th October, 1916 with gunshot wounds to right hip. He was discharged to No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth on 11th November, 1916.

Corporal Francis Gerald Houston was found dead in bed at Opera Hotel, Bow Street, London on 8th December, 1916. His body was transferred to Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, Grosvenor Road, London, England. A Post Mortem was carried out on Saturday 9th December at 4 pm & the Inquest was held at 2.30 pm on Monday 11th December, 1916. The Coroner’s Inquest found that the death was accidental & accelerated by illness of congestion of the lungs.
Corporal Houston was buried in All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green, London, England where 19 other WW1 Australians are buried.
(Note: there is a discrepancy with his rank - according to the Australian War Memorial he was a Corporal whereas the CWGC has his rank as Sergeant)….


Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of James and Sara L HOUSTON

The painfully sad news that his son, Sergeant Francis Gerald Houston, had died in England, where he had been sent to recuperate after having been wounded in France, was conveyed to Mr. J. Houston, of Barkly-place on Friday night by the Defence department. Sergeant Houston was only 20 years of age, and was the sixth son of Mr. J. Houston, who is head master of the North Bendigo State School. He left Victoria in March last with reinforcements for Egypt. He proceeded to France in June, and was in the trenches with a fortnight's exception, from July until the beginning of October, when he was wounded and invalided to England. Prior to enlisting, Sergeant Houston was on the staff of the Bank of New South Wales at Bendigo, and was highly esteemed and respected by all who knew him. He became connected with the bank early in 1914. Two of the deceased soldier's brothers have returned from the front, wounded, viz., Private Raymond Houston and Trooper Herbert Houston, and their brother, Trooper Clement Houston, is now in camp with the Light Horse ready to go to the front. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved parents in their great loss. He has been described as "a born soldier and leader of men."

Writing to his chum in Bendigo (Mr. Herbert Vine) from the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, on 20th October, the deceased soldier stated:— "I have been wounded in my right hip. I went down to get another chap who was wounded, and got 'cracked' myself. I had a piece of shell extracted in France (no chloroform). The wound is healing rapidly, though painfully. Had been in trenches 15 weeks (over three months) when I got 'cracked.' Expect to be back in the trenches by Christmas."


Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

FRANCIS GERALD HOUSTON, son of Mr. James and Mrs. Sara L. Houston, was born at Horsham, Victoria, on 25th August, 1896. He was educated at the Hawthorn West State School, and later at the Melbourne High School and Bendigo High School. While in the school at Melbourne he was a member of the Champion Cadet Team of Victoria.

He entered the service of the Bank on 12th May, 1914, at Bendigo, and enlisted on 25th August, 1915.

Francis G. Houston left Australia in March, 1916, with reinforcements for the 7th Battalion, but on arrival in Egypt, joined the 57th Battalion, and served with it in that country.

He sailed with the battalion for France in June, 1916; proceeded to the Somme battlefield, and was present at the Battle of Fleurbaix in the following month. He continued to serve on the Somme until October, 1916, when he was wounded at Flers and sent to hospital in England for treatment. He had recovered from his wound and was on the eve of returning to France to rejoin his battalion, when he contracted congestion of the lungs and died on 8th December, 1916, aged twenty years and four months.

Source - Bank of NSW Roll of Honour