Francis is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.
Born: 12th April 1919, Liverpool, Lancashire.
Died: 19th November 1941; age: 22; KiA in the fading light in the Libyan Desert – during the action of Operation: Crusader.
Residence: 51, Fonnereau Road, Ipswich.
Francis, having passed through Sandhurst took his commission in July 1939, with the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars. Promoted to Lieutenant, on the 1st January 1941.
Rank: Lieutenant; Service Number: 95219.
Regiment: 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps – ‘Desert Rats.’
Relatives Notified & Address: Only son of Richard Charles, O.B.E., F.R.C.S., and Mary Charles, of Ipswich, Suffolk.
Father: Richard Charles, O.B.E., F.R.C.S., born Christmas Eve, 1885, Cookstown, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. A Surgeon at the East Suffolk & Ipswich Hospital. During the First World War Richard was a Major/Surgeon-Specialist for the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Mother: Mary Charles (nee Horner), born June 1890.
Francis was educated at Aldeburgh Lodge School – a Preparatory School for Boys (in 1937, the school moved to Nacton, Suffolk and was re-named Orwell Park School). Francis then attended Uppingham School, before moving on to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
He was a fine sportsman, he carried everything before him in athletics, and at Uppingham School he was in the Cricket 11 and got his colours for hockey. He was also an accomplished tennis player. These sporting qualities and his charm of manner made him especially popular in his regiment.
Francis is remembered on the war memorial at Orwell Park School, Nacton, Suffolk.
Operation: Crusader – was launched on the 18th November with the objective to relieve the isolated British garrison at Tobruk. The 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars were part of the 7th Armoured Division, better known as the ‘Desert Rats.’