112 WELLS, Francis Leslie

112 Spr. Francis Leslie Wells
112 Spr. Francis Leslie Wells

112 Francis Leslie Wells was a 21 years old electrical engineer,  from Surry Hills Sydney. Francis loved the outdoors and was a lifesaver with the Clovelly lifesaving Club and also played competitive tennis. He was a young man who loved life and was loved by his family and friends. He had two sisters Alma and Eileen and it appears that he may have left behind a sweetheart, a Miss. Lorna Downs.

Frank was proud of being in the Engineers, he enjoyed the hard work  and what they achieved at Lemnos prior to the landing at Gallipoli.  He was particularly proud of being the first and among the only representatives from New South Wales to land with the  dawn party  and rush the hills at Gallipoli.

 “Twenty-three of the Engineers with the 3rd Brigade, were in the first boat to touch the land on that memorable Sunday, April 25.”Sapper 112 Frank L Wells

KILLED IN ACTION
SAPPER WELLS’ LAST LETTER HOME,

Published Sunday Times – Sunday 8 August 1915.

“Sapper Frank L Wells, aged 22 years, of the 1st Field Company of Engineers, only son of Mrs. F. Wells, of the Hotel Victoria, Crown st, Surry Hills, was killed in action at the Dardanelles on July 12. In his last letter, written to his mother on June 27  last, he said ………..

“ We left Egypt on March 1 for Lemnos Island, just 40 miles from the Dardanelles. The Engineers were ashore for five weeks making wharves, etc. Twenty-three of the Engineers with the 3rd Brigade, were in the first boat to touch the land on that memorable Sunday, April 25.
The Engineers were the only New South Wales representatives to land with the party, who rushed the hills. From then we had the hardest 14 days that any one could experience. I can imagine how worried you must all be at this period, but please God, by the time you receive this every thing will be quiet — at least for some time. I am thankful to say so far I have not had a scratch, and have never been too tired at nights to thank God for his mercies each day. When I come home will have some experiences to relate, but you must be patient for a little longer. . am writing this in the trenches, where I have charge of a party of infantry doing some work and improvements.” –  Sapper 112 Frank L Wells
Source: nla.news-article120801151

On the 12th July 1915,112 Spr Francis Leslie Wells was killed in Action by a bomb blast to his neck and chest. He  is buried at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery (Plot I, Row C, Grave 30), Gallipoli, Turkey.  His name is also on the famous memorial cross on the image below.

burial 2

Sadly the image of the letter above to Frank’s mother is typical of the details that families received when they lost their son or sons.  Usually a brief letter informing them of his death and perhaps the circumstances and location, and his plot, row and grave number and the promise of some photos of the site and the prospect of their personal effects if they were recovered .

 J02598

Sapper Wells
Shrapnel Valley Cemetery (Plot I, Row C, Grave 30), Gallipoli, Turkey.
AWM_canberra_1
Australian War Memorial – Canberra
Plan of Commemorative area showing which panel the name Francis Leslie Wells' is located
Panel 25 – Plan of Commemorative area showing which panel the name Francis Leslie Wells’ is located

Roll of Honour name projection

Francis Leslie Wells’ name will be projected onto the exterior of the Hall of Memory on:

  • Wed 8 July, 2015 at 11:56 pm
  • Sat 22 August, 2015 at 3:20 am
  • Tue 13 October, 2015 at 12:57 am
  • Mon 14 December, 2015 at 3:59 am
  • Wed 10 February, 2016 at 11:00 pm
  • Wed 6 April, 2016 at 7:17 pm
  • Sun 22 May, 2016 at 3:20 am
  • Sun 3 July, 2016 at 2:55 am
  • Tue 16 August, 2016 at 2:47 am
  • Wed 5 October, 2016 at 3:52 am

Sources: AWM, NAA, NLAname is also on the famous memorial cross below

The  many tributes and family notices published in the Sydney Morning Herald show how popular Francis Wells was.

Roll of Honour

WELLS. -Killed in action at the Dardanelles, Frank L. Wells (1st Field Company of Engineers),

dearly beloved cousin of Marjorie and Harold Hutchinson, aged 22.  

WELLS.-Sapper Frank L. Wells (1st Field Coy.Engineers), who nobly died at the Dardanelles July12.

A noble end to a noble life.

Inserted by his Loving friend, Lorna Downs.

WELLS.-Sapper. F.L. Wells, 1st Engineers, killed In Action, Dardanelles, July 12, 1915.

Inserted by his club mates, Clovelly Life-saving Club. He died bravely, like a life-saver should.

WELLS.-Killed in action at the Dardanelles, July12,1915

 Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers.

Inserted by the Clio Tennis Club, Maroubra.

WELLS. – Killed in action at the Dardanelles, July 12, 1915

 Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers.

dearly beloved son of Mrs F Wells Hotel Victoria Crown and Devonshire streets, Surry Hills, age 22

WELLS. -Killed in action it the Dardanelles, July 12, 1915

 Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers. dearly beloved brother of Alma and Eileen Wells, Hotel Victoria Crown and Devonshire streets, Surry Hills, age 22

WELLS. -Killed in action at the Dardanelles, July 12, 1915

 Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers.

dearly beloved grandson of Mrs J F Liddy, 8 Toxteth road, Glebe Point, aged 22

WELLS. -Killed in action at the Dardanelles, July 12, 1915

Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers.

dearly beloved nephew of Mr J.E Mannix, Pitt street and Mrs G Loydstrom, Earl’ s court, Woy Woy, aged 22

WELLS. -Killed in action at The Dardanelles Juy 12, 1915

 Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers.

dearly beloved nephew of A.H, J.W, F.J and A J F Liddy, and Mrs McDonald, ages 22.

WELLS. -Killed in action at the Dardanelles July 12,1915 

 Frank L Wells  First Field Company of Engineers.

dearly beloved cousin of Vear and Harold Head, age 22

1916 Family Notices

WELLS.-In loving memory of of our darling Frank, who was killed in action at the Dardanelles on July 12 1915.

Inserted by his loving mother and sisters

Mum and Eileen.

WELLS.- In loving memory of my dear cousin and chum, Frank L. Wells killed in action at the Dardanelles on July 12 1915.

Inserted by his fondest chum H. (Gus) Head.

WELLS.- A token of friendship and love to the memory      

of Frank Leslie Wells killed in action at the Dardanelles July 12 1915. One of Australia s best.

Inserted by his old chum and friends Reg and Mr and Mrs Tom Thornton.

WELLS.- In memory of Sapper Frank Wells 1st Field Company Engineers killed in action at Gallipoli July 12, 1915.

Inserted by his loving friend, Lorna Downs.

Sources: AWM, NAA, NLA

Footnotes:

Ancestry:

Parents : Florence and Alfred George Wells

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