Francis George (Frank) CHABREL

CHABREL, Francis George

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 3 November 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Don, Tasmania, Australia, 20 October 1894
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: St. Peters College, Adelaide, South Australia and Royal Military College, Duntroon, Canberra, ACT
Occupation: Officer cadet
Died: Killed In Action, Gallipoli, 7 August 1915, aged 20 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Lone Pine Memorial: Panel 50
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Glenelg St Michael's Memorial Chapel CHORISTERS Memorial Window, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, Unley South Park Bowling Club Memorial
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World War 1 Service

3 Nov 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
3 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Ceramic A40
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), ANZAC / Gallipoli
1 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli
Date unknown: Involvement 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Battle for Pozières

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An intimation was received on Tuesday that Capt. Francis George Chabrel, who proceeded to the front with the 16th Battalion of Infantry, had been killed in action. The deceased officer was a son ot Mr. M J. Chabrell, an old Indian civil servant, residing at Nile street, Glenelg, and was born in Tasmania, 21 years ago, in October. Educated at St. Peter's College, he entered the Military Staff College at Duntroon as a cadet, in February, 1912, and remained there until last October, when he reported himself at Morphettville to Major Baker for active service, and shortly afterward proceeded to Broadmeadows to join the 16th Battalion of Infantry. During his stay at Duntroon Capt. Chabrel did exceedingly well, and came out second in his year. Mr. Chabrel, who for 21 years was a civil engineer in the Indian Public Works Department, has two other sons at the front—Victor, who is serving as a private in the 10th Battalion, and Edwin, who is a private in Capt. Chabrel's company." - from the Adelaide Observer 21 Aug 1915 (


Born in Tasmania, in 1894, Francis Chabrel attended St Peter's College between 1906-1910and achieved Honours in Arithmetic and Algebra. He and two classmates, John Irwin and Eric Talbot-SMith were the first Old Scholars to gain entry to the Royal Military College Duntroon.

They had not completed thier course when war broke out but were commissioned anyway.  Talbot Smith was posted to the 10th Battalion, Irwin to Artillery and Chabrel to the 16th Battalion (largely comprised of Western Australians).  He joined the Battalion in Broadmeadows Melbourne and sailed with them in December.

The 16th Battalion was part of hte 4th Brigade and in due course it was assoigned to the New Zealand Austrlaia Division.  Following hte Landing Francis Chabrel was wounded in fighting around the Bloody Angle on 3 may.  He was evacuated to Alexandria and Cairo.  He recovered fully to be promoted in June and returned to ANZAC.

He was killed in the 4th Brigade operation as part of its attempt to get yp on the Hill 971, behind Chunuk Bair, on the morning of the 7th August.  Major Percy Black, bore witness to his death stating that he had come back from his company position to the Battalion Headquarters in order to report to the Commadning Officer.  Having asked directions to locate the Colonel he set off to locate him and was shot in the head and killed instantly by a sniper.  he was just 20 years old.

From the book Fallen Saints

Francis George Chabrel of Glenelg, South Australia was born in Tasmania, in 1894. He attended the School 1906 -1910 and during his final year there achieved honours in arithmetic and algebra.

He along with John Irwin and Eric Talbot Smith were the first Old Blues to enter Duntroon and at the outbreak of war despite not having fully completed their course, each was granted his commission; Irwin was posted to Artillery, Talbot Smith to the 10th and Chabrel to the 16th Battalion.

Lieutenant Chabrel joined the 16th Battalion at Broadmeadows Camp in November 1914 and sailed with the main body in December.

On 3 May, he suffered wounds to his neck and lower extremities during the attack in the central Anzac sector on the Bloody Angle but as none were life threatening he was evacuated to Cairo where he fully recovered and was promoted in June.

Captain Chabrel returned to Anzac and was acting company commander in his old battalion until killed in action on 7 August 1915; he was 20 years of age.

Among the many document in his service dossier held at the National Australian Archives is these descriptions by fellow officers of the events leading up to his death. [i]

Major Black: - ‘On 7th of August Captain Chabrel was with the most advanced portion of the ‘C’ Company at the head of SIKHS HILL, where he had led them himself. When they had dug in he came back to report to the Colonel and had just asked me where the Colonel was and I had directed him. He had not gone 10 yards when he was sniped, death being instantaneous. He was a very fine officer.’

Captain Harwood: - ‘Captain CHABREL was killed on the morning of the 7th August 1915. He was in the rear when shot through the head by a sniper. He was a good officer.’

[i] National Archives of Australia: B 2455, Chabrel, F G / 3223573, viewed 26 July 2005