A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Sergeant Francis O’Connor Hornby
Born: 2 October 1892 Albert Park. Died: 1960 Gardenvale.
Enlisted: 25 February 1916 aged 24.
Served: Western Front.
Francis was the son of Ernest Arthur Hornby and his wife Ellen (Nellie) Peppard.
Prior to enlisting on 25 February 1916, Francis was a farmer with a 30-acre property on the Pakenham-Gembrook Road (near Mt Shamrock Road), part of which was planted with an orchard. Francis had also played football for Pakenham, including in the 1914 premiership team.
Francis joined the 29th Battalion in France in September 1917. Just a week later, on the 26/27 September, he was wounded in action, sustaining a gunshot wound to his chest and right shoulder.
Invalided to England, Francis only rejoined his unit in France in early 1918. Francis later obtained non-military employment on an orchard in Worcester before being repatriated to Australia in August 1919.
In 1920 Francis sold his Pakenham property for soldier settlement and it was later acquired by Wallace Black.
Francis was for a time a “gripman” living in South Melbourne and later operated a garage in Mansfield.
In 1931, he married Florence Ellen Hehir.
Francis was a confectioner in Richmond in the early 1940s and later a public servant living in Elsternwick.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com