1. Memorial:Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, FlandersPanel 6 and 8.
2. Book:The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918Pg.122
3. Memorial:The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour57D GQS

Awards & Titles:

Queen's South Africa Medal with 5 clasps
King's South African Campaign Medal 1901-2 clasps
1914-15 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Long Service & Good Conduct Medal

Family :

Born in India (Ahmednagar), 1879, son of Mrs. Gertrude Lappin (formerly Franklin), of 395, Fulham Palace Rd., Fulham, London, and the late Serjt. Maj. Franklin.

Francis's portrait image together with further detail is courtesy of his family, with special thanks to Ian Bullock, his grandson. Ian is also related to Major William Knell as his great-grand-nephew, also listed within this database. The image shows Francis regaled as a Drum Major, clearly displaying QSA & KSA medals.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 3rd Battalion Royal Fusiliers 

3rd Battalion August 1914 : in Lucknow in India. Returned to England December 1914. Joined 85th Brigade, 28th Division. Landed at Le Havre mid January 1915. Moved to Egypt October 1915 and thence to Salonika. July 1918 : left Brigade and moved to France. Joined 149th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.

Action : The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres) 

22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.

Enlisted into the Royal Fusiliers at Guernsey as a boy and appointed 2nd Battalion, 21st July, 1894. Appointed Drummer 9th September, 1895 and was posted out to serve in the South Africa Campaign (Boer War) 1899-1902. He survived the trials of a military campaign and was awarded five clasps to his Queen's South Africa medal, seeing action in Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, Tugela Heights & Ladysmith. He further received the King's South Africa Medal with both the 1901 and 1902 clasps. He took his first promotion 8th December, 1902 attaining the rank of Lance Corporal and quickly rose through the ranks of Corporal and Sergeant in the consecutive years following.

He undertook and passed various educational certifications of military training appropriate to his rank and trade. Most notably he was qualified in "Musketry," and in particular with the Maxim Gun gaining distinction. He was also qualified to make repairs to machine guns, through the Royal Small Arms Factory, at Enfield.

In masonic record he is shown as a Sergeant (Drummer) at Secunderabad, 1909 which corresponds with his service record. Between 1904-1911 he was posted and served in India as a Sergeant, receiving a further promotion to Colour Sergeant at Home, 12th February, 1913. During the Great war he was commissioned to serve as an Officer, becoming 2nd Lieutenant 5th March, 1915.

Detail :

Shortly after his commission, during the 2nd Battle of Ypres, Belgium he was killed in action, aged 36 on the 3rd May, 1915.

His body was not recovered and is therefore commemorated on the panels at the Menin Gate Memorial. For his service in the Great War he was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Further detail of Lieutenant Franklin's military career was recorded in the Middlesex Chronicle: "Lieut. Franklin's Record. Last week's casualty list included the name of 2nd Lieut. F. Franklin, of the 3rd Batt. Royal Fusiliers, as having been killed in action on May 4th. The death of Lieut. Franklin is mourned by a large circle of friends, as he was very well known in Hounslow. He came of a military family, his father, Sergt.-Major Franklin, and his uncle, Major Knell, both belonging to the Royal Fusiliers. Lieut. Franklin was born in 1879, and joined the Army at the age of 14 as drummer boy, and gradually worked up until he received a commission just two months ago. He was an ardent and clever footballer, and played for some well-known clubs, among them Aston Villa, Derby County, Millwall, Old Kingstonians, Kingston, and, last but not least, Hounslow, and the medals he won by him in this branc of sport totalled 23. He played for the Army against the Corintians in 1904, and secured the gold badge of the Army F.A. He was a good all-round athlete, and was also accomplished on the social side, being in constant demand at concerts, etc., and when transferred from Hounslow to Finsbury he was made President of the Entertainments Committee. He served right through the Boer War, and was also seven years in India. The Army can ill afford to lose such an officer, who devoted the whole of his life to the service of King and Country."

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Mayo No. 1406 E.C.India
Joined : Alma No. 3534 E.C. Middlesex

15th April 1908
20th May 1908
17th June 1908

Initiated into Mayo Lodge No. 1406 at Secunderabad and joined Alma Lodge in Middlesex as a petitioning and joining member at its consecration 15th November 1911. He resigned from Mayo Lodge 20th November 1909 with many others, suggesting the unit was posted at that time.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2021-08-14 17:50:59