Born: 28th May 1897, Ipswich, Suffolk.
Died: 29th August 1918; age 21; KiA or Died of Wounds or shortly after.
Enlistment Location: Ipswich; Date: 27th June 1915; Age: 18 years & 30 days; Occupation: Grocer. Religion: CofE. Height: 5ft 9ins tall, brown eyes & brown hair.
Rank: Private; Service Number: 165886
Regiment: Machine Gun Corps (Infantry), 10th Battalion.
Formerly: 2462; Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars.
Service: Expeditionary Force to Egypt 1st February 1916 – 7th June 1918. Embarked En Route 18th June 1918 – 21st June 1918. B.E. F. 22nd June 1918 – 29th August 1918. Reported wounded & missing 29th August 1918.
Medals Warded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.
V. G. 9.
Pas de Calais,
Relatives Notified and Address: Son of Edward James and Alice Louisa Woods, of 87, Hervey Street, Ipswich.
1901 87, Hervey Street, Ipswich.
Francis was 3 years old and living with his mother, maternal grandparents & aunt and his grandparents female ward. Both he and his mother were not using their surname Woods.
Charles Hart, 73, a retired Police Constable, born Thrandeston, Suffolk.
Lucy Hart, 70, born Woodbridge, Suffolk.
Alice Louisa Hart, 32, a Dressmaker, born Laxfield, Suffolk.
Lucy Helena Hart, 35, born Laxfield.
Pomponia Watson, 7, born Easton, Suffolk.
1911 87, Hervey Street, Ipswich.
Francis was 13 years old, and living with his mother, maternal grandmother & aunt & his grandmother’s female ward. Francis & Alice are now using their surname Woods.
Lucy, 81 a widow, was kept by children.
Alice, 42, a Dressmaker for a Drapery.
Lucy, 45, helped at home. totally deaf.
Pomponia, 17, a Student.
Francis’s father, Edward William James Woods was a Tobacconists Manager in 1911, living at 39 Bulwer Street, Shepherds Bush, London. He was born in 1869, Ipswich. On Francis’s service record Edward is acknowledged as his father but as address unknown.
Francis is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Margaret’s Church, Ipswich.
The Machine Gun Corps was formed in October 1915 as the machine gun proved to be held affective as infantry support in trench warfare. Cavalry and Motor branches, followed in 1916 by the Heavy Branch. A depot and training centre was established at Belton Park in Grantham Lincolnshire also a training base depot at Camiers in France .the men were trained to a higher technical standard, capable of stripping down and mending the guns in the field.
The Machine Gun Corps had 62,049 casualties, including 12,498 killed out of 170,500 officers and men earning it the nickname ’the Suicide Club’ manly as machine guns were static or fix positions becoming prime targets for the enemy.