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Francis Clement Goodman

Temporary Sergeant

Serial No:
Serial No. 2173

56th Battalion


Francis Clement Goodman - Information

As the war raged on, Francis was residing in Camden with his family. He was born in Pinecliff in 1894, before his parents relocated the family to the Camden area. He did very well at his studies, and eventually became a school teacher. He and his older brother Geoffrey sent in an application form to Camden recruitment officers to enlist in the AIF. They then travelled into Sydney together to join up at the Royal Showground Camp on the 21st of March 1916. The previous month, they watched their little brother, Augustus, volunteer; aged just 18. Francis and Geoffrey trained at Cootamundra and at Goulburn, where they became Privates in the 4th Reinforcements, 56th Battalion. They were sent abroad from Sydney on the 4th of September 1916 onboard the HMAT Port Sydney.

Francis and Geoffrey set down in Plymouth, England at the end of October. After further training, they departed Folkestone for France in early December, joining their unit in the field two days before Christmas. The Allies were settling in for the winter, temperatures were below freezing and the poor weather made life in the trenches miserable. Sadly, Francis soon said goodbye to his brother. Geoffrey was wounded in action in early April 1917. He was shortly evacuated to England and returned home. Francis then spent over a week in hospital sick. The 56th Battalion were then shifted to the Flanders region in Belgium. The unit participated in action during the Third Battle of Ypres, fighting at Polygon Wood. During this campaign, Francis was promoted to Lance Corporal on the 3rd of October, and then Temporary Corporal on the 9th. In the new year, Francis became very unwell and was admitted to hospital in Rouen for a month. He was then taken to the Australian Infantry Base Depot where he reverted to Lance Corporal. On the 22nd of July, he was again promoted to Temporary Corporal, before fighting at the St Quentin Canal. After the war ended with the Armistice, he was made Temporary Sergeant on the 5th of December 1918. Francis remained with his unit, until he left England for Australia in early July 1919. He was discharged in late October and returned to his family in Camden. By 1950, Francis had relocated to Belmore.