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Francis Campbell

Rank: Corporal
Town/Village: Longford
Civil Parish: Templemichael
Catholic Parish: Templemichael
Alternative Address: 16 Henrietta Street, Dublin
Census 1901:
Census 1911:
Regiment/Unit: Connaught Rangers, 2nd Battalion; Rifle Brigade 6th Battalion
Regiment Number: 7745
Date of Death:
Cause: Survived WW1

Francis was born in Longford c. 1883 and was a member of the 6th Battalion, Rifle Brigade before enlisting in the Connaught Rangers in February 1903. He remained in the army until 1911 when he entered the Special Reserve. During his time in the army he even acquired a Certificate of Education in August 1907. When the Great War was declared, He departed with the 2nd Battallion from Aldershot on 12 August 1914 for Bologne, France. At around 8pm on 26 August 1914, he was wounded through the mouth and left shoulder and taken prisoner to Limburg in Germany, where he remained for just over 13 months. He was returned to the UK in October 1915 as an exchanged prisoner due to illness, having first been treated at London General Hospital (Royal Victoria) in October 1915 and transferred to Tipperary in December 1915. Subsequently he was discharged from the army in 1916, due to lack of fitness despite being willing to continue fighting.

Francis received the following medals: 1914 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was also the Silver War Badge, given to those who had been on active service but were discharged, usually on medical grounds, prior to the end of the war.

Francis was called up as a reservist, and was part of the force known as 'the Old Contemptibles'. He joined the Old Contemptibles Association in the 1930s to secure the Mons Bar and Rosette in recognition of his service at the beginning of the war. 

Parents Names: Father was Thomas Campbell, Barrack Street, Mullingar
Notes: Interestingly Francis claimed to have been made a Corporal in the field, by a captain who died in action the very same day Campbell was wounded and taken prisoner. Lance Corporal M. McGrath of the same battalion was witness. However prior to the prisoner exchange he removed his stripes to be represented as a private soldier, a decision which may well have saved his life given the severity of his illness. The notification of Francis Campbell's hospitalisation in London was sent to Mrs. E Clarke, 18 Middle Gardiner Street, Dublin, close to his father's Henrietta Street address in 1915.

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