Lt Joseph Francis, RAF

Taken Tasmania circa 1935

1892 Apr 18. Born 207 Crown St, Surry Hills, Sydney.( New South Wales, son of Joseph and Mary E Francis) Arthur Edwin Francis is Joseph's step-father. Joe's father was believed to be of Italian Heritage. Joe's maternal grandfather was an hotel keeper, his stepfather from 5yrs onward was a printer (my grandfather). his biological father apparently came from Italian nobility but I have yet to find out a name. My grandmother had a short relationship with him when he was visiting Sydney and possibly stayed at their hotel (but I'm guessing). His birth certificate has a blank for the father's name. His mother and step-father married when he was 5 years old.

1913 to 1916 he was an electrical and mechanical engineer at Ramsey Sharp & Co, George St, Sydney

1915 Nov 27. Married Mabel F O'Connor at Hurstville, New South Wales. (He was married three times.) . He was living at Leticia St, Oatley NSW, Australia

1916 Dec 16 Australian Aero Club Certificate. Joe attended the first course, 10 pilots were accepted by the Australian Flying Corps another 8 including Joe were despatched to England to offer their services to The War Office. Joe felt his weight (over 11st) was against him being accepted by the AFC.

1917 Mar 27 Arrives in UK from Sydney. He is one of a group of 8 Pilots to come in from Australia that day.

1917 Apr 18. Earliest entry in service record RAF. On arrival in England they were accepted as a probationary flight officers and paid one shilling per day as compared to six shillings per day when in NSW. The NSW government agreed to make up the difference until they gained their wings.

RAF Record

1917 May 30. Commissioned 2nd Lt. Sent with 4 Squadron, the last Australian Flying Corps to be formed during WW1. Embarkation 17/01/17. Passed out 2nd in the stunting course at Gosport, selected as RAF Pilot Instructor

1917 Sep 27. Promoted Flying Officer

1918 Apr 1. Promoted Lt.

1919 Aug 28. MID

1920 Feb 7. Seems to have been repatriated to Australia from RAF record. He sought employment with the NSW Government as a pilot on return but was told there were no vacancies. Returned to U.K. and joined ADRIC

1920 Dec 20 Joined ADRIC with service no 1298. Posted to M Coy

1921 Jan 1. Promoted Section Leader i/c transport

1922 Jan 19. Discharged on demobilisation of ADRIC

1922 May 22. Arrives back in Sydney

1923 Granted Civil Aviation Licence - Granted B License - No 4

1924 Mar 6. Divorce granted, filed by Mabel Florence O'Connor on the grounds of desertion.

1926 Instructor at the Victorian Aero Club

1929 May 8. NSW Police Gazette. He is being sought for avoiding maintenance.

1930. Officer of the Matthews Aviation Company. 

1936. Chief Instructor of the Tasmanian Aero Club. Joe was the first flying instructor based at Western Junction in 1930 it was a small but active and progressive club. At the end of 1934 it had 149 members (80 flyers) and 11 pilots trained. A DH60 Moth from the club is on display at The Power House Museum

1937 Chief Instructor of A.N.A. Flying School.

1943 Electoral Roll. Living at Auburn, Kooyong, Victoria, Australia at 51 Toorak Rd, Occupation: Manager

1949 Manager of Australian National Airlines. (A.N.A.)

1954 Electoral Roll living at Elmore, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. Occupation: Hotel Keeper "SHAMROCK HOTEL" with wife Alice

1963 Died Elmo, Victoria