Born: 1880, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Died: 4th May 1917; age: 27; Drowned at Sea – H.M.T. ‘Transylvania’.

Residence: 62, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.


Rank: Private; Service Number: G/38453

Regiment: The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 2nd/4th Battalion.


Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.


Memorial Reference:

Savona Memorial,





1881   22, Havelock Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.


Robert was a year old and living with his parents, siblings & paternal grandfather.

Anson Francis, 33, a Grocer, born Lowestoft, Suffolk.

Susannah Francis (nee Roy), 30, born Burnham, Norfolk.

Susannah Ann Francis, 5, born Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Mary Francis, 4, born Great Yarmouth.

Thomas R. Francis, 2, born Great Yarmouth.

Ethel Francis, 5 months, born Great Yarmouth.

Thomas Francis, 73, a retired Rope Maker, born Lowestoft.

1 general servant.


1891   20, Westgate Street, Ipswich.


Robert was 11 years old and living with his father & siblings.

Anson, 40, a Glass & China Dealer – own account.

Susannah, 15.

Thomas, 12.

Catherine Francis, 9, born Great Yarmouth.

Edmund Cyril Francis, 5, born Bramford, Suffolk.

1 housekeeper.

1 general domestic servant.


1901   20, Westgate Street, Ipswich.


Robert was 21 years old, a Hardware Assistant. He was living with his father & sisters.

Anson, 53, a Glass & China Shopkeeper – own account.

Susannah, 25.

Mary, 23.

Ethel, 20, a Glass & China Assistant.

Constance Francis, 17, born Bramford.

1 housekeeper.


1911   62, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich.


Robert was 31 years old, a Glass & China Dealer Assistant. He was living with his father & sisters.

Anson, 63, a Glass & China Dealer – own account.

Mary, 34.

Ethel, 30.

Constance, 27.

1 housekeeper.


On the 7th October 1913, at Christ Church, Leeds, Yorkshire, 34 year old Robert, a Clerk, of 62, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich, married 24 year old Florence Mary Gardner, of 34, Great Wilson Street, Leeds, born 11th June 1889, Debenham, Suffolk – daughter of William Gardner, a journeyman boot and shoemaker and a Post Office clerk and telegraphist, and Ann Gardner (nee Sevior), of Debenham.

Florence and Robert had two children:

Robert Sevior Francis, born 25th June 1915, Ipswich.

Margaret Mary Francis, born New Year’s Day, 1917, Ipswich.


Soldiers’ Effects to Florence M. Francis – widow.


Probate to Florence Mary Francis – widow.


The Francis family were mentioned in a letter dated 30th May 1923, from Jim & Polly Witter (James George and Mary Ann Witter), of 14, Chenery Street, Ipswich, to the former resident of 14, Chenery Street – Alice Vince Pinborough, who had immigrated to the U.S.A. in 1906.

“Mr. Francis (the china shop) is dead his son joined up in the war and was going out when they were torpedoed & was drowned, he sold the premises for £8000 but it did not live long after. Then a man opened the premises outfitting blouses & I don’t know what & was going to cut out all the shops in Ipswich. He was only open about two months when he went smash. The things are in the shop & windows spoiling.”

Jim Witter’s letters give snippets of the changes to buildings, people, and life in Ipswich and are courtesy of Laurie –


Anson Francis 19th March 1923, Ipswich.


The H.M.T. Transylvania, defensively armed, built 1914, 14,315 grt, was torpedoed in the port engine on 4th May 1917 by the German U-boat U63 2½ miles South from Cape Vado, Gulf of Genoa, Italy, Mediterranean Sea. She was carrying Government stores and troops from Marseilles to Alexandria, and was owned by Anchor Line (Henderson Brothers) Ltd of Glasgow.

The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment), 2nd/4th Battalion:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top