Awards & Titles:

Queen's South Africa Medal 4 Clasps
King's South African Campaign Medal 2 Clasps

Early Life :

Born 15th July 1883 and was the eldest son of Colonel George Francis Addison Cresswell, CVO and Harriet Eva Louise Gurney. Francis was a career soldier who died at Mons, 24th August 1914 - one of the Great War's earliest casualties. He was at that time a Captain of The Norfolk Regiment.

He was married to Barbara nee Ffolkes [sic.] of Park Lane, London in 1910 or 1911. They were living in Hampshire near Hartley Witney at the time. They had two daughters: Wilhelmina Margaret Eve b.1911-d.2005 and Eve Dorothy Kathleen b.1914 - d.2000.

A commemoration plaque exists at North Runcton Church in Norfolk which shows a line of family dedications starting with grandfather of the same name and his father George, perhaps betraying a long association with this church and that locale. Other memorials at Hunstanton and at his old school bear his name.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 1st Battalion The Norfolk Regiment 

1st Battalion August 1914 : in Holywood, Belfast. Part of 15th Brigade, 5th Division. Landed at Le Havre August 1914. Moved with Division to Italy in November 1917 but returned to France in April 1918.

Action : The Battle of Mons and subsidiary actions 

23 - 24 August 1914. The BEF had its first encounter with the German Army at Mons. Using the defensive barrier of the Mons Conde Canal the BEF was able to delay the German advance partly through the accuracy and speed of its rifle fire, and partly through the heroism of individuals. The first VC?s of the war were awarded at Mons. Eventually the position at Mons became untenable and the BEF slipped away to start its long retreat to the Marne.

De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour states: CRESWELL, Francis Joseph Captain and Adjutant, 1st Battalion (9th Foot) the Norfolk Regiment., s. of George Cresswell; b. King's Lynn, co. Norfolk, 15 July 1883; educ. Radley College; gazetted 2nd Lieut. Norfolk Regt. From the militia, 22 Oct. 1902; promoted Lieut. 4th Feb 1905 and Capt. 13th March 1912; served in the South African War 1901-2 with the 3rd Norfolk Regt. ; took part in the operations in Orange County River Colony March to July, 1901 and Aug to Nov. 1901 and those in Cape Colony Nov. 1901 to March 1902 (Queens Medal with 4 clasps); was employed with the Kings African Rifles from 13 Aug 1908, to 9 March 1911; served with the expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, and was killed in action during the Retreat from Mons 24th Aug. 1914.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : Norfolk No. 2852 E.C.London
Joined : Lodge Harmony No. 3084 E.C. East Africa

21st May 1901
5th April 1909
7th June 1909

The records of United Grand Lodge show that Francis was initiated into the Norfolk Lodge No, 2852 on the 21st May 1908, passed on the 5th April 1909 in Lodge 3084 and raised in that same Lodge on 7th June 1909. At the time he was stationed at Warley Barracks, Brentwood. It seems that he was posted to Africa in the second half of 1908 and so we see him then join, on the 5th April 1909 - Lodge Harmony No. 3084, Nairobi, British E. Africa. He resigned from this Lodge 30th April 1911. Also in 1911 he resigned, under Rule 175, from the register of his mother Lodge - the compatibility of being a soldier, a young mason and travel being fully tested.

He is not recorded on the roll, probably because he wasn't a member of a Lodge at the time of his death.

Source :

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

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2019-08-18 13:29:44