Meredith, Francis (No. 972615)

Meredith, Francis (Frank)

Aircraftman 1st Class

No. 972615, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died in a Prisoner-of-War Camp on Thursday 3 December 1942 (aged 26)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Yokohama Cremation Memorial, Japan (Panel 6)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards

Brother of Lance Sergeant John Meredith (No. 6984401)

BIOGRAPHY

Francis Meredith was born on 1 March 1916 and he was a son of James Gardiner Meredith and Mary Jane (Minnie) Meredith (nee Bennett) who were married on 18 March 1901 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards.  James Gardiner Meredith, a minor and a soldier from Newtownards was a son of James Gardner Meredith, a labourer.  Mary Jane Bennett was a minor from Newtownards.

After he was discharged from the Army, James Gardiner Meredith worked as a labourer and he and Mary Jane had at least ten children, most of whom were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church, Newtownards:

Harriet (born 17 November 1906)

Wilhelmina Gibson (Mina, born 9 June 1908 in Darragh’s Lane, Newtownards)

James Gardiner (born 5 August 1909 in Darragh’s Lane, Newtownards)

David George (born 1 April 1911; served with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War)

Richard (born 4 November 1912)

Sarah (born 14 March 1914)

Francis (Frank, born 29 February 1916 in Church Street, Newtownards)

Albert (born around 1916/1917; served with the London Irish Rifles during the Second World War)

John (born 23 July 1918; died in infancy)

John (born 15 July 1921)

The Meredith family lived at 5 Church Street, Newtownards.

James Gardiner Meredith Senior served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in both the South African and First World Wars and he died on 10 May 1941 (aged 60).

It was reported in the Press that, during the Second World War, five Meredith brothers served, and Francis was the first to die of the two who died.

Aircraftman 1st Class Francis Meredith (No. 972615) was the husband of Margaret (Madge) Meredith (nee Sloan) of 15 West Street, Newtownards.  They were married on 25 December 1940 in Newtownards.

Frank Meredith joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and fought in the South-East Asian theatre of war.

Aircraftman 1st Class Francis Meredith (No. 972615) was captured by the Japanese and died of acute colitis on 3 December 1942 at Fukuoka No. 4 Branch Camp in Moji, Japan where he was assigned prison number 5062.  There is evidence to suggest that he arrived at Moji on 28 November 1942 having been transported on the Japanese ‘hell ship’ Dainichi Maru.

Flight Sergeant George Francis Grattan also died at Fukuoka No. 4 Branch Camp in Moji.

It was not until December 1945 that it was officially confirmed that Frank Meredith had died.

Aircraftman 1st Class Francis Meredith (No. 972615) was 26 when he died and he is commemorated on the Yokohama Cremation Memorial in Japan; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and on the family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.

His wife Margaret died on 30 June 1984.