838891 Pte. Francis Leo Galvin was born in Meaford, Ontario, on December 14th, 1889, to Thomas and Helen, one of nine children born to the couple.


Francis was married to Sara and working in Owen Sound as a machinist when the twenty-nine year old attested to the 147th (Grey) Battalion on February 23rd, 1916. Assigned to "D" Company, under the command of Captain Pollock, the unit was billeted locally over the winter, though Francis probably lived at home until the unit left for training at Camp Niagara in the spring of 1916.


As the conditions in the Camp were wanting the unit moved to the new training facility of Camp Borden in late June. While undergoing training Francis had troubles adjusting to military life, being charged and given 24 hours detention. Later he forfeited two days' pay for some other transgression. In September the unit received their orders to proceed overseas, but due to an outbreak of diphtheria they were detained in Amherst, Nova Scotia, for over a month. The unit finally sailed for Great Britain, on November 14th 1916.


On January 1st, 1917, the 147th Battalion ceased to exist when it became the nucleus for the 8th Reserve Battalion, whose task it was to supply reinforcements to the 58th Battalion and the 4th C.M.R. Francis was taken on strength of the 4th C.M.R. on April 22nd, 1917; just weeks after the assault on Vimy Ridge and during the closing days of the Battle of Arras 1917.


Francis served continuously with the unit evading illnesses and injury until October 26th, 1918, the first day of the Canadian Corps attack at Passchendaele. The 4th C.M.R. task was to be the lead element of the 8th Brigade's attack the German lines west of Bellevue Spur. It was during this assault that Francis was Killed-In-Action. As his body was never identified for a burial his sacrifice is remembered today on Panel 32 of the Menin Gate, Ieper, Belgium.




Thanks and credit go to George Auer for the above biography.