Lieutenant Francis Wycliffe RUSSELL MC
16th London Regiment [Queen’s Westminster Rifles]
Date of birth: 1898
Date of death 27 August 1918
Killed in action aged 20
Buried in Bailleul Road East Cemetery, St. Laurent-Blangy. Plot II. B. 9.
Francis Wycliffe was born at Chingford, Essex, the youngest son of the Revd. Canon Alfred Francis Russell, the Vicar of Chingford, and Mrs. Frances Wycliffe Russell.
Francis was educated at Stoke House, Stoke Poges, and Marlborough, he was awarded a Scholarship to Christ Church.
He commenced service in January 1917, joining the 16th London Regiment [Queen’s Westminster Rifles] and served in France.
He award of the Military Cross was gazetted 22 June 1918:
“2nd Lt. Francis Wycliffe Russell, Lond. R.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a hostile attack. Though badly shaken by a bursting shell, he led his company with great skill, and inspired his men with confidence by his splendid example. When the trench in front of him was captured by the enemy, he formed a bombing block in the communication trench and stopped the enemy's advance. He organized the defence of a post in advance of the final line of defence and held it until the following day.”
He was killed in action at Croisilles two months later.
There is a plaque to his memory and that of his parents, in Chingford Church.
Probate was granted to his father on 27 August 1918. He left £670-18s-3d.