Francis John (Jack) TUCKETT MC


TUCKETT, Francis John

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 3 March 1916, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 3rd Divisional Signal Company
Born: Beaufort, Victoria, 1 March 1875
Home Town: Perth, Western Australia
Schooling: Violet Town, Victoria
Occupation: Telegraphist
Died: Killed In Action (Shell Blast), Passchendaele, Belgium, 14 October 1917, aged 42 years
Cemetery: Ypres Reservoir Cemetery
Plot I, Row H, Grave No. 34
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bickford Soldiers Memorial Hall Honour Roll and Memorial Plaque, East Victoria Park Bickford Young Mens Club HR, Postmaster General's Department Perth WWI HR, Victoria Park War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

3 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, Melbourne, Victoria
25 May 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 May 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, HMAT Ascanius, Melbourne
1 Sep 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant
7 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, Battle of Messines
31 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, Third Ypres
14 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 3rd Divisional Signal Company, Third Ypres

How Lieut. Tuckett died

This is a copy of a letter printed in the Euroa Advertiser on Friday, 18 January 1918. It wrongly indicates that it is a story about the death of Phil Tuckett, however, it is a discussion of the circumstances of the death of Francis John Tuckett. Mrs E. M Tuckett was the wife of Francis Jack Tuckett.

Mrs E. M. Tuckett, of Alfred Street, Victoria Park, W.A. has received a letter from
Brigadier-General McNicoll, explaining the circumstances of the death of her husband Lieut. Phil. Tuckett (formerly of Violet Town). The General says "Your husband, together with my brigade major, assistant brigade major, and intelligence officer, went out from our brigade headquarters dugout, to endeavor to rescue two wounded men who were lying on stretcher and stuck in the mud, about 500 yards away. Mr Gale was hit by a shell, but the others getting further help, managed, after two hours, to get their men into my dugout. Lieut. Tuckett then went to a pill - box close at hand to get some cocoa and food for the poor, shivering, wounded men, and while returning he was hit by a shell quite close to my dugout, and killed instantly. We managed with great difficulty to bring
him in to Ypres, where he was buried on Monday morning, October 15. In addition
to our admiration for his technical efficiency we had all learned to love him for him his manly qualities, his unfailing care and consideration tion for his men, his utter fearlessness in the face of danger. We join with you in mourning his loss, and ask you to accept the assistance of our deepest sympathy."


Awarded the Military Cross

Awarded the Military Cross

At ARMENTIERES, PLOEGSTEERT (Wood) and MESSINES from 1st December 1915 to August 1st 1917, this Officer performed excellent service in maintaining communications throughout the Brigade in several roles and during MESSINES offensive. Though frequently exposed to heavy enemy shell-fire he continued his duty and organised his Signal Section with great success during these operations, and by courage and devotion to duty showed a splendid example to his men

London Gazette 1st January 1918, page 53 position 17
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 66 of 2nd May 1918 page 847 position 133

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The image of F J  Tuckett is taken from a Group Photograph held by the AWM, of 3rd Div Sig Company in Perth prior to embarkation.

A smallish, stocky man, Francis (or Jack as he was known) served in the militia with the Victorian Mounted Rifles for two years before going to Western Australia and becoming a telegraphist at Eucla in 1895. Moving to Kalgoorlie, he married Elspeth Maria Morrison on 9 June 1898 with Presbyterian forms; they were to have six children. In Perth in 1906 he joined the (Royal) Australian Engineers, serving first with the 8th Half Company and from 1909 with the 30th Signal Company. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant on 3 March 1916.

Jack Tuckett was appointed to the 3rd Divisional Signal Company, Australian Imperial Force, on 3 March 1916; his eldest son Francis Curtis (1899-1953) was allotted to the company six days later as a sapper. Born at Coolgardie on 28 July 1899 and educated at Victoria Park, young Francis was a bank clerk when he managed to enlist in the A.I.F. on 28 December 1915.

Father and son embarked in May 1916 for training in England; Jack was promoted Lieutenant in September. They proceeded to France in November where their company was responsible for providing and maintaining communications with forward units in the war zone. Lieutenant Tuckett was recommended for the Military Cross for his work in the Ypres sector in September and early October 1917; he was killed in the 2nd battle of Passchendaele on 14 October before his award was promulgated. His mates wrote to his wife that he had died while 'seeking to alleviate the distress of others'. A keen cricketer, he had been presented with the bat used when a side from his company was successful against a 10th Australian Infantry Brigade team: his family later gave it to the Western Australian Cricket Association.