Rodney Vernon FRANKLIN

Poppy

FRANKLIN, Rodney Vernon

Service Number: 414
Enlisted: 24 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: Royal Flying Corps
Born: Mount Barker, South Australia, 21 September 1896
Home Town: Saddleworth, Clare and Gilbert Valleys, South Australia
Schooling: Saddleworth Public School, Riverton High School and Gawler School of Mines
Occupation: Junior Draftsman
Died: Accidental (plane crash), Egypt, 24 June 1917, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Suez War Memorial Cemetery
Grave Ref. A56
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Gawler Council Gawler Men Who Answered the Call WW1 Roll of Honor, Gawler St George Anglican Church Franklin Memorial Plaque, Gawler War Memorial, Gepps Cross Auburn Ancient Order of Foresters WW1 Roll of Honour, Riverton Pictorial Honour Board, Saddleworth Institute Roll of Honor WW1, Saddleworth Memorial Trees Plaque, Saddleworth St. Aidans Church Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

24 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 414, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 414, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 414, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 414, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
26 Nov 1915: Discharged AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, SN 414, 10th Infantry Battalion
24 Jun 1917: Involvement Royal Flying Corps, Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps, Egypt and Palestine - Light Horse and AFC Operations

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

"Mr. and Mrs. C. R Franklin, of Saddleworth, have been advised, that their youngest son, Flight-Lieut: Rodney Vernon Franklin, of the Royal Flying Corps, was accidentally killed in Egypt on June 24. He was born at Mount Barker, and was in his twenty-first year. Educated at the Saddleworth Public and Riverton High Schools, he completed his education at the Gawler School of Mines, where he secured high honours in technical subjects. He was connected with Martin's engineering works at Gawler. From boyhood he had taken a keen interest in military affairs, and was the first leader of the Owl Scout Patrol. Entering the cadets at Gawler, he passed his officer's examination prior to the outbreak of war, and when the call came was one of the first to enlist from the Saddleworth district. He was attached to the famous 10th Battalion as a lance-corporal and soon after landing in Egypt, gained his second stripe. He was also recommended for a commission in the British Army during, his stay in Egypt.

After, splendid service on Gallipoli the deceased was sent to England ill, and spent three months in a hospital After regaining his health he was appointed to the King's Own Regiment, with the rank of Lieutenant. This honour was the outcome of the recommendation made in Egypt early in the year. After several months' service with his regiment in England, he secured a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps, and, aided by his special technical knowledge, soon mastered the art of aviation, and won his 'wings' in July, 1916. He immediately left for France, and had an exceptionally exciting and successful career during his stay there. He was wounded on two occasions while flying in the air, and for particularly meritorious work he was awarded the Croix de Guerre, and was recommended for the Military Cross. His health gave way early in December, 1916, arid he spent about three weeks in a hospital in France, and was then ordered to England. He was granted three months' sick leave, and decided to visit his home in Australia.

He arrived at Saddleworth in March, and spent a few weeks with his parents there; He left again for the front on April 5, and upon his arrival in Egypt was ordered to report for duty there with the Royal Flying, Corps. His death on June 24 brought to an end a highly creditable and promising, career. He excelled in many field sports and his sunny, genial nature and upright character secured for him a host of friends wherever he went. On the evening of Violet Day an impressive service in memory of the deceased was held at St. George's Church Gawler, which he had formerly attended."from the Adelaide Register 04 Jul 1917 (nla.gov.au)

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Biography contributed by Virtual Australia

Text supplied by Chas Schaedel and the South Australian Aviation Museum History Group

Rodney Vernon FRANKLIN was born on 21 September 1896 at Mt Barker South Australiana and educated at Saddleworth Primary School, Riverton High School and the Gawler School of Mines, He worked at Martin’s Engineering in Gawler as a draughtsman before enlisting in the AIF on 24 August 1914 to embark at a lance Corporal in the 10th Infantry Battalion at the age of 19. He embarked on 20 October 1914 from Adelaide aboard the  HMAT A11 Ascanius.

Franklin took part in the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and shortly afterwards was evacuated sick to hospital in Egypt. Upon recovery he sailed in HT Cardigan to rejoin his battalion on 13 June 1915 at Gallipoli and served there until he became ill with dysentery on 10 August. 

Transferred to Lemnos aboard the  SS Georgian, he was subsequently evacuated from Mudros on 14 August in HS Aquitanian and admitted to No. 3 Lindon General Hospital.

Upon regaining his health Franklin was discharged from the AIF on 26 November 1915 after being granted an Imperial Army commission  as 2Lt 10th (Reserve) battalion The Kings Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). He then transferred to the RFC, gained his wings in July 1916 and from August to December 1916 served in France with “B”  flights of No 16 Squadron RFC flying BE2c and was wounded by ground fire on 27 September  and again on 10 October,

Awarded the Croix de Guerre (France) and recommended for the Military Cross, Franklin was taken ill and hospitalized in  December 1918 and give 3 month sick leave during which he visited Australia in March 1917. He returned to RFC in Egypt in April but on 24 June 1917 he was accidentally killed while flying in Martinsyde S.1 4250 at 58 Training Squadron (TS) RFC at Suez .

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