Savage-Armstrong DSO MID, Francis Savage Nesbitt

Savage-Armstrong, Francis Savage Nesbitt (Francis)

Distinguished Service Order

Mentioned in Despatches (twice)

Lieutenant Colonel

1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment

Commanding 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Killed in action on Monday 23 April 1917 (aged 36)

Buried:

Point-du-Jour Military Cemetery, France (Grave II. E. 12)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church)

BIOGRAPHY

Francis Savage Nesbitt Savage-Armstrong was born on 5 July 1880 at 6 Hume Street, Dublin and he was a son of George Francis and Maria Elizabeth Armstrong (nee Wrixon) who were married on 24 April 1879 in Christ Church Church of Ireland Church, Kingstown, Co Dublin.  George Francis Armstrong, a gentleman from 6 Longford Terrace, Kingstown was a son of Edward John Armstrong, a gentleman.  Maria Elizabeth Wrixon from 43 Clarinda Park, Kingstown was a daughter of John Wrixon, a clerk in holy orders.

George Francis and Maria Elizabeth Armstrong (nee Wrixon) had three children:

Francis Savage Nesbitt (born 5 July 1880 at 6 Hume Street, Dublin when his father was Professor of English Literature at Queen’s College Cork)

John Raymond Savage (born 13 May 1882 at 6 Hume Street, Dublin when his father was Professor of English Literature at Queen’s College Cork)

Arabella Guendolen Savage (born 9 September 1885 in Sydenham Villas, Bray, Co Wicklow)

In 1891, George Francis Armstrong assumed the surname Savage-Armstrong and he died of heart failure in Strangford on 24 July 1906 (aged 61).  He was buried in the graveyard of the now derelict St Mary’s Church of Ireland Church at Ardkeen (situated in the townland of Kirkistown).

Francis Savage Nesbitt Savage-Armstrong was educated at Shrewsbury School and he joined the Army on 19 September 1900.  He served with the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment and 4th Mounted Infantry during the South African War. He served both at home and abroad before the outbreak of the Great War.  He went to the Western Front on 3 November 1914 where he fought at Ypres and at Neuve Chapelle.  He was wounded at Festubert on 16 May 1915 and was killed in action at Arras on 23 April 1917 while he was serving as Commander of the 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Savage Nesbitt Savage-Armstrong was 36 when he died and he was buried in Point-du-Jour Military Cemetery, France.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

FORTIS ATQUE FIDELIS

The inscription means Strong and Faithful.

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Savage Nesbitt Savage-Armstrong is commemorated on the Armstrong family memorial plaque in Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Church (Christ Church) situated at Ballygela Road, Ardkeen in the townland of Kirkistown.  The memorial plaque reads:

To the Glory of God and in memory of:

  • Edmund John Armstrong, died 12 October 1870, buried Old Cemetery, Monkstown, Co. Dublin
  • His wife Jane, daughter of Rev Henry Savage of Glastry, died 3 January 1880, buried Monkstown
  • Their sons, Henry Savage, died an infant 31 July 1840, buried Mount Jerome
  • Edmund John, died 24 February 1865, buried Monkstown
  • Their daughter Ann Eliza, married Captain W.T. Croft, 65th Regiment, died 29 January 1930, buried Tonbridge
  • Their son George Francis Savage-Armstrong (the Poet), died 24 July 1906, buried St. Mary’s, Ardkeen
  • Their sons, Francis Savage Nesbitt, 1st South Staffordshire Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel, DSO, South Africa 1901 – 1902, 1st Ypres  1914, Neuve Chapelle  1915, wounded Festubert 16 May 1915, killed Arras 23 April 1917; John Raymond, Captain Leinster Regiment, wounded Hill 60 near Ypres 21 April 1915
  • Their daughter Arabella Guendolen, VAD 1914 – 1918 War, died 20 August 1952, buried St. Mary’s, Ardkeen

Port after stormy seas; rest after toil

My peace I give unto you

During the Great War Francis Savage Nesbitt Savage-Armstrong’s brother Raymond served as a Captain in the 4th Battalion Leinster Regiment and his sister Guendolen served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) nurse at the Richmond Military Hospital in Dublin.