Francis Ernest Coates
Serial No. 15
9th Machine Gun Company &3rd Machine Gun Company
Francis Ernest Coates - Information
Born in Yorkshire, England, Francis migrated to Australia and settled in Picton. He resided on Bargo Rd and worked as a farm manager. At the age of 26, Francis decided to fight for the mother country, signing up at the Royal Showground Camp in Sydney on the 20th of March 1916. During training, Francis was made a Private with the 9th Machine Gun Company. He then embarked Sydney on the 1st of May 1916 on the HMAT Benalla.
Francis landed in England in early July, and by November was in the frontlines in France. He and his unit provided superior fire cover for operations, allowing the infantry to advance easier. Francis was attending a Cookery School when the war ended. He was then transported to England in April 1919. Here, from the 29th of May until the 10th of July, he completed non-military work at Wolsley Sheep Shearing Company in Birmingham. He would also have been able to catch up with his family. He was transferred to the 3rd Machine Gun Battalion, before leaving for Australia in late August.