DUKE, Francis
(Service number 24/412)

Aliases Francis Holy, Frank
First Rank Rifleman Last Rank Rifleman


Date 17 March 1888 Place of Birth Greymouth

Enlistment Information

Date 30 May 1915 Age 27 yrs 2 mths
Address at Enlistment Victoria Hotel, Cromwell
Occupation Labourer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin William DUKE (brother), Omihi, North Canterbury
Religion Unitarian
Medical Information Height 5 feet 5 inches. Weight 139 lbs. Chest measurement 32-34 inches. Complexion fair. Eyes blue grey. Hair light. Eyes both 6/6. Hearing good. Colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full movement of joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - some good, some bad. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects (except teeth).

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation 2nd Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade
Unit, Squadron, or Ship B Company
Date 9 October 1915
Transport Maunganui or Tahiti or Aparima or Navua or Warrimoo
Embarked From Wellington Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With New Zealand Rifle Brigade

Military Awards

Campaigns Egypy; Western Europe
Service Medals 1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 27 December 1918 Reason No longer physically fit for War Service on account of Advanced Tubercula of the Lungs contracted on Active Service.

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

16 February 1917 he was reported wounded. He was subsequently admitted to hospital with slight gunshot wounds to his head and face. On 19 January 1918 he was wounded in the right thigh, On 27 February 1918 he was report ed as progressing favourably and on 17 March 1918 he rejoined his unit. 21/22 June 1918 he was admitted to hospital in the UK, with bronchitis. 31 July 1918 he embarked at Southampton for transfer to Marama at Marseilles; he was still on theMarama on 7 August, being phthisical.

Post-war Occupations

Rabbiter, labourer


Date 23 December 1963 Age 75 yrs
Place of Death Christchurch
Cause Due to War Service
Memorial or Cemetery Ruru Lawn Cemetery, Christchurch
Memorial Reference Block 1C, Plot 121
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Frank was born on 17 March 1888, a son of James DUKE. He was educated at many schools - Fairfield, Palmerston, Shag Point (all Otago), Fairlie, Kakahu Bush, Geraldine (all South Canterbury), South Malvern, Templeton, Springburn (all Canterbury) schools. His father died in Timaru in 1911. He was a half brother of Joseph Martin DUKE who died of wounds in 1918; and of Benjamin Robert DUKE, and Taylor DUKE who also served in WWI. Frank's last employer before enlistment was Gudsell Bros, Winchester; but he was residing at the Victoria Hotel in Cromwell, Otago, when he responded to a proposal at a recruiting rally on 21 May 1915 in the Athenaeum Hall there. After 3 years and 214 days,of service (the majority overseas) he returned home in September 1918 with Draft No. 175. After his return home, Frank worked as rabbiter and labourer on several stations in South Canterbury before retiring to the Rannerdale Home in Christchurch. He died on 23 December 1963 in Christchurch, his death being due to his war service.


Cenotaph Database [29 June 2014]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5537 0035884) [01 July 2014]; ; Ruru Lawn Cemetery memorial inscription (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiche) [29 June 2014], Ruru Lawn Cemetery burial records (Christchurch City Council Cemetery Records online) [29 June 2014]; School Admission Records (Dunedin Branch NZSG, South Canterbury Branch NZSG, Canterbury Branch NZSG) [29 & 30 June 2014]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [29 June 2014]; Otago Daily Times, 22 May 1915, 20 February 1917, Ashburton Guardian, 20 February 1917, Evening Post, 20 February 1917, 28 June 1918, 7 September 1918 (Papers Past) [30 June 2014]

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