Regiment : 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment
Service number : 6465
Conflict : WW1
Date of death : Killed in action on 2nd November 1914
Buried : Lancashire Cottage, Cemetery, Belgium, Grave I. B. 5.
Birthplace : Born and resident Redditch, Worcestershire, enlisted Birmingham
Relatives : Husband of Mrs A.M. Wells, 121 Mount Pleasant, Redditch, Worcestershire
Memorial : Redditch War Memorial
Credits : Researched by Jillian Coombes.
On the 1911 census Francis Wells aged 30, Porter at Chemists, lived with his wife Anetta Mary and their daughter at Gilbert Cottages, Ipsley.
Francis Wells arrived overseas on 26th August 1914. He was awarded the 1914 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
The Birmingham Daily Mail, Saturday 14th November 1914:
Redditch Sergeants last letter. Killed in action after describing month’s fighting.
To a letter which a friend received from Sergeant Francis Wells, of the East Lancashire Regiment, a Redditch Reservist, was attached a note, evidently written afterwards by a comrade, stating that the sergeant was killed in action on November 2.
Sergeant Wells was well known in Redditch, and leaves a wife and two children. In his letter he summed up his experiences in the trenches and on the march from October 5 to October 31, and described in detail the places visited and the terrible losses inflicted on the Germans.
The report continues with the details of various attacks and skirmishes that took place and ends with the sentence – ‘The 31st was his sixth day in the same trenches, but he expected to get relieved at night.’
Birmingham Daily Mail courtesy of the British Library: http://www.britishnewspaperarchives.co.uk