Francis Michael NELSON

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NELSON, Francis Michael

Service Number: 339
Enlisted: 1 July 1915
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Belson, South Australia, 31 July 1884
Home Town: Unley, Unley, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Police Officer
Died: Killed In Action, France, 26 June 1918, aged 33 years
Cemetery: Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux
Rank:LieutenantDate of Death:26/06/1918Age:33Regiment/Service:Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 32nd Bn. Grave Reference: VII. B. 3. Cemetery:VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Unley Arch of Remembrance, Unley Town Hall WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

1 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
1 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 339, 32nd Infantry Battalion
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT A2 Geelong
9 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 32nd Infantry Battalion, TSgt from 9/3/1916
25 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 32nd Infantry Battalion, near Fleurbaix, Pas-De-Calais GSW to face-hand
25 Nov 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 32nd Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 339, 32nd Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
Date unknown: Involvement 23rd Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Today it is with great gratitude in my heart that I come to honor the memory of one of my australian boys who fell on the battlefields of the Somme, I want to pay a very respectful tribute to Lieutenant Francis Michael Nelson who fought in the 32nd Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action 102 years ago,on June 26, 1918 at the age of 33.

Francis Michael Nelson was born on July 31, 1884 in Belson, South Australia and he was the son of Francis and Kate Nelson and he was the husband of Jane Nelson and lived at 56, Opey Avenue, Unley, South Australia with their two children Jean and Frankie. Before the war, Francis was a police officer at Unley.

Francis embarked with C Company from Adelaide on 18 November 1915 aboard HMAT A2 Geelong for Suez. While in Egypt, he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant on March 9, 1916. The battalion relocated to the Western Front, France, during the following June. He was then promoted to Second Lieutenant on August 9, 1916. Later that month he was wounded in action near Fleurbaix, Pas-De-Calais, and was able to rejoin his unit in late September 1916. He was then promoted to Lieutenant on November 25 1916. Nelson was detached to the 8th Training Battalion in Codford, England, on July 11, 1917 for a seven month tour and initially completed a course at Bombing School where he qualified as Instructor. He rejoined his battalion on the Western Front, near Warneton, Belgium in mid-February 1918 then He was transferred with his battallion to the Somme front where he was killed in action a few months later near Corbie on June 26, 1918 at the age of 33.

Today, Francis Michael Nelson rests in peace with his brothers in arms at the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and his grave bears the following inscription "Ever remembered by his loving wife and child Jean and Frankie".

from the bottom of my heart Francis, with respect, I want to thank you and tell you that my heart is full of admiration for you, you who served before the war as a police officer, with dedication for your country and for peace to offer your children a peaceful world but war has come and with bravery, you have once again answered the call of duty, you, like millions of young Australians decided to wear the colors of your country proudly and to make hope shine in the hearts of all French people who saw in you hope, who saw in your smiles, the rising sun of Australia, light through the darkness of wars and the ruins of destroyed cities de la Somme, you fought bravely and served nobly through the trenches and battlefields destroyed by the endless hurricane of shells that shattered so many lives, you never lost hope for a better world through this hell.you who were an officer, always in front of your men to guide them, to encourage them to advance through the rain of bullets, I am sure that you were a very great source of inspiration and admiration for them, you gave the best of yourself, with devotion and bravery until the war takes your life too soon and I pray with all my heart that you are finally reunited with your wife and your children who had the best of fathers and who did not see you never come back. Know Sir that you have never been forgotten and that you will never be forgotten, today, I bow to you with very great respect and with a lot of pride in my heart to have the honor to present my respects and to say thank you, you will always be, in my heart, one of the many heroes who rest in peace here, on the lands of the Somme and we will always take care of your memory with a lot of love and gratitude, we will never forget who you were and who you are today, one of my Australian boys and heroes of the Somme.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.🌺

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Biography

A police constable from Unley, South Australia, prior to enlistment, he embarked with C Company from Adelaide on 18 November 1915 aboard HMAT Geelong (A2) for Suez. While in Egypt, he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant (T/Sgt) on 9 March 1916. The battalion relocated to the Western Front, France, during the following June. T/Sgt Nelson was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 9 August 1916. Later that month he was wounded in action near Fleurbaix and was able to rejoin his unit in late September 1916. He was promoted to Lieutenant (Lt) on 25 November 1916. Lt Nelson was detached to the 8th Training Battalion in Codford, England, on 11 July 1917 for a seven month tour and initially completed a course at Bombing School where he qualified as Instructor. He rejoined his battalion on the Western Front, near Warneton in mid-February 1918. Lt Nelson was killed in action near Corbie, France, on 26 June 1918. He was aged 33 years.

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