Sebire, Francis Henry (5441)

Place of Birth: Port Melbourne, VIC

Age: 25 years 8 months

Enlistment Details: Saturday, 6 November 1915 – Broadmeadows, VIC

Service Number: 5441            view online service record

Address:
18 Champion Street
Middle Brighton, VIC

Next of Kin:
Flora Margaret Sebire (wife)
18 Champion Street
Middle Brighton, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Monday, 3 July 1916
Ship: HMAT Ayrshire A33
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 5th Infantry Battalion – 18th Reinforcements

Fate:
KIA: Monday, 20 November 1916
Place: France


Francis Henry Sebire. AWM P05248.120.

Francis Henry Sebire. AWM P05248.120.


Private, 60 Infantry, killed in action, 20 November, 1916, France, age 26, commemorated Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, France.

Parents: John and Christina SEBIRE, wife Mrs Flora Margaret SEBIRE, born Port Melbourne, educated SS, matriculated Melbourne High School. Enlisted from Brighton as a schoolteacher, posted to the tiny hamlets of Binginwarra and Taggerty (shown as place of association) before he enlisted. Killed in action near Flers, France, 20 November 1916, aged 26. The family was heavily involved in education; his wife a teacher at South Preston SS, his father head teacher of the Flinders School in Geelong and an uncle headmaster at Alphington State School for several years.

Additional research by Brian Membrey

Comments

  1. Brian Membrey says:

    “Francis Henry Sebire, husband of Mrs. F. M. Sebire, of the South Preston School, and son of Mr. John Sebire, who is head teacher of the Flinders School, Geelong, was born on the 27th of March, 1890. After his elementary-school course, he became a student of the Melbourne High School, matriculating thence in 1910. Appointed junior teacher at the Rathdown-street School, Carlton, he was afterwards head teacher at Binginwarra and at Taggerty. He enlisted in December, 1915, and while in camp at Broadmeadows, received notice from the Education Office that he had been promoted to the charge of the school at Laver’s Hill, but, of course, did not take up this appointment. In July,1916, he sailed for England with the rank of Sergeant (he had held a Lieutenant’s commission in the Senior Cadets), with the 18th Reinforcements to the 5th Battalion on the transport Ayrshire After a few months at Salisbury Plain, he gave up his stripes to go to the Front to rejoin his comrades and get into the firing line. He was sent out on a dangerous mission in charge of a body of men of the 60th Battalion on the night of the 20th November, 1916. None of these men returned to the base. Whether they were captured or killed could not be ascertained; but, as their names did not appear on prisoner lists, the Defence authorities declared them killed in action. His record as a teacher shows him to have been thorough, earnest, and conscientious, commanding the attention and respect of his pupils. (Education Department Record of War Service)

  2. Brian Membrey says:

    “He was a hard worker. I last saw him at Needle Trench beyond Flers on Nov 20th. It was then dark and I spoke to him and asked what he was doing, and he told me he was guiding ration parties to the front line … the Germans put up a rather heavy barrage that nigh. I often asked about him afterwards, but could learn nothing definite. Some of the men he was guiding very likely did not know him” (Private Fred Marr, 5404)

  3. Brian Membrey says:

    Although he would never have seen him, Francis Sebire and his wife Flora had a son, Paul, who served as a Flying Officer with the R.A.A.F. during the Second World War. Records show him born on 1 April, 1917 – nine months less two days after his father enlisted)!

    SEBIRE – On the 20th November, 1916, killed in action on the Somme, Francis Sebire, late 60th Batt., dearly loved husband of Flora, and father of little Paul, aged 26 years. (Previously reported missing).

    SEBIRE.—On the 1st April, at East Melbourne, the wife of Francis Sebire (on active service, abroad) — a son)

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