Francis (Frank) KELLY

KELLY, Francis

Service Number: 2462
Enlisted: 1 February 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 3rd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Manoora, South Australia, 28 January 1888
Home Town: Booborowie, Goyder, South Australia
Schooling: Booberowie Public School and School of Mines
Occupation: Property overseer
Died: Killed in Action, Beersheba, Palestine, 31 October 1917, aged 29 years
Cemetery: Beersheba War Cemetery
Plot C Grave 40,
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Burra District WW1 Honor Roll, Burra Fallen Soldiers Memorial, Burra Loyal Burra Lodge Court Unity AOF No 3015 WW1 Roll of Honor, Manoora Institute Supreme Sacrifice Roll, Willalo & District WW1 Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

1 Feb 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2462, Adelaide, South Australia
8 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 2462, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '1' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Kabinga embarkation_ship_number: A58 public_note: ''
8 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 2462, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Kabinga, Melbourne
31 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, 2462, 3rd Light Horse Regiment, Battle of Beersheba, --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 2462 awm_unit: 3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment awm_rank: Trooper awm_died_date: 1917-10-31

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

Biography contributed by Susan Lear

"Died for their country

Trooper FRANK KELLY, who was killed in action at Beersheba on October 31, was the youngest son of the late Mr. Michael Kelly, Booborowie, and was born at Manoora in 1888. He was educated at Booborowie school, and afterwards attended the School of Mines, Adelaide, where he learned wool-classing, which occupation he followed until he enlisted. He was an enthusiastic supporter of charitable and patriotic movements and athletic sports, frequently acting as secretary, and was also a conspicuous figure on the football field. For many years he was organist for the Roman Catholic Church at Booborowie. He enlisted in January, 1916, and left for the front in May. He leaves one sister, Mrs. J. F. Hogan, Booborowie, and eight brothers, three of whom are in France, Privates J., D., and A. Kelly. He was a universal favorite." - from the Adelaide Advertiser 22 Nov 1917


Biography contributed by tony griffin

Born in Manoora, Francis was only a month short of his twenty eighth birthday when he enlisted in Adelaide on 1 February 1916. His occupation was listed as Overseer but in latter documentation was listed as a woolclasser. Francis was initially appointed to E Company 2nd Depot Battalion at Exhibition AIF Camp but due to having served for three years with the 23rd Light Horse Regiment he was immediately posted to Base Light Horse. Two weeks after enlisting Francis was allocated to 17th Reinforcements 3rd Light Horse Regiment and entrained for Melbourne on 29 April.  On 8 May Francis embarked from Australia aboard HMAT A58 Kabinga and after landing in Egypt was taken on strength of 1st Light Horse Training Regiment at Tel-el-Kebir where he spent the next four months in training.

Francis was taken on strength of 3rd Light Horse at the end of  September until February 1917 when he was struck down with debility at El-Abel and was taken from 54th Casualty Clearing Station to 24th Stationary Hospital. After a week he had developed influenza and was transferred to 14th Australian General Hospital at Abbassia. When Francis was discharged from hospital on 8 March he was again taken on strength of 1st Light Horse Trainining Regiment with which he spent the next two months until transferring to 3rd Light Horse at Shellal. In October Francis was involved in an action at Tel el Saba. The following are extracts from the Regiment’s War Diary that describe this action in which Francis was killed:

30/10/17 – 31/10/17 Stood to arms at 0400 – stood down at 0600. The regiment formed up and  moved off and moved to No.5 well to water. Joined up with Brigade and moved off at 1830. Trekked until 0300 when horses were fed and a halt of ½ an hour was made. Having resumed our journey a halt was made at 0800. “A” Squadron and “C” Squadron pushed forward – their objective being TEL EL SABA which was strongly held by enemy machine guns and rifles. The Regiment moved with Brigade to a point...... received orders to take up a position near KH.EL WATAN.  Advance scouts got in touch with enemy in bend near W.SABA  - SOUTH EAST of TEL EL SABA. At 1200 received orders from Brigade to advance on TEL EL SABA – Auckland Mounted Rifles cooperating on our right.

The Regiment advanced in the open from the point of bend in wadi – the whole of the wadi being swept by enemy machine gun fire. “A” and “C” Squadrons advanced to bank of wadi. “B” Squadron remaining in support. The regiment with slight cover was able to bring Hotchkiss Gun and rifle fire to bear on enemy trench and machine gun positions on TEL EL SABA. At 1405 3rd Regiment and Auckland Mounted Rifles commenced to assault enemy’s position which was occupied at 1530. Our “A” Echelon was bombed at 1715 by enemy aircraft.

Francis Kelly was killed in action on 31 October 1917 and was buried in the Beersheba Cemetery, Palestine, Grave 33 on 2 November 1917.