Service Number: 284
Enlisted: 5 August 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Petersburg, South Australia, 30 June 1895
Home Town: Port Lincoln, Port Lincoln, South Australia
Schooling: Warnertown & Solomontown State Schools
Occupation: Clerk (S.A.R.)
Died: Died of Wounds, Norwich, England, United Kingdom, 11 September 1916, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Norwich Cemetery, Norfolk, England
Grave Reference: 54. 680, Norwich Cemetery, Norwich, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1, Port Lincoln Garden of Remembrance, Port Lincoln S.A.R. Eyre's Peninsula Division Roll of Honour WW1
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World War 1 Service

5 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 284, Adelaide, South Australia
28 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 284, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
28 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 284, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide
19 Jul 1916: Wounded Private, SN 284, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix), GSW (face)

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"...284 Private Frank Gillespie... of D Company, 32nd Battalion, of Port Lincoln, SA. Pte Gillespie enlisted on 5 August 1915 and embarked from Adelaide aboard HMAT Geelong on 28 November 1915. He was wounded in action on 19 July 1916 in France and subsequently transferred to a military hospital in England. He died of his wounds on 11 September 1916 aged 21 years." - SOURCE (


The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA: 1889 - 1931) Monday 13 November 1916


A very pathetic letter has been received by Mrs. Gillespie, of Port Lincoln, concerning the death of her son, which was the result of injuries received in battle. The letter, which is signed Alfred W. Daynes. P.P.G.M., is as follows: — "I much regret thus seeking your acquaintance, but the circumstances warrant my writing to you. Possibly ere this reaches you, you will have intimation of your sad loss in death of your son in the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital from shell shock sustained while on service in France. In my capacity as a member of the board of management of that institution I came across your son in one of the wards, and a day or two before his death, attracted by an Oddfellow's jewel I always wear on my watchband, he told me that he was a member of the Manchester Unity and had taken some interest in the work at Port Lincoln. I   should have liked to have talked with him further on the subject, but I was to be disappointed, for although on three occasions I visited his bed, twice I found him in such a serious condition that I dare not venture on general topics, and once he was calmly sleeping, and I would not wake him. The next day he died (Sun- day last). Although everything was done for him, and he was very grateful for the attention paid him, we, who are accustomed to much suffering, knew from the first that there was small hope for him. To-day we buried him in the soldiers' plot of the Norwich Cemetery. He was borne to the Grave by six members of the Royal Field Artillery and the chaplain of the hospital (the Rev. J. Huxly), and, in company with the Grand Master of the Norwich District, M.U. (Bro. J. Andrews), I attended the funeral, as I thought that a brother Oddfellow claimed the respect and sympathy we were able to offer. It was   a strange and sad gathering — seven soldiers, two Oddfellows, and the chaplain (also an Oddfellow) by the silent grave of one practically unknown to anyone, in fact, absolutely unknown to all save the chaplain and myself. But we did our best, and I am writing this to let you know that your dear son was not hurried into a lonely grave without the presence of some who honored him as a soldier, and of some who honored him as a social worker. My wife desires me to say that she will take on the duty of occasionally visiting the grave and placing a few   flowers thereon. I trust that the blow will be sustained by you in the same heroic way in which your son so gallantly met his death, and that the remembrance of the great sacrifice made in the great cause we are fighting for will enable you to look back with hope and pride on the life so untimely ended. One feels some diffidence in writing to a stranger on such a serious matter, but I thought it only right that I should address you and let you know how and where he ended his life, and that he now lies surrounded by many comrades   who, like him, have made the sacrifice."