Rank or Title
Date of Birth
28 Apr 1887
Date of Death
22 Aug 1915
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Frank (Francis) Joseph Turner, 2030, 5/13th Battalion, Australian Infantry, Australian Imperial Force, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 22nd, 1915. He was a Lutonian who had emigrated to Australia about six years earlier.
He was the 28-year-old blue-eyed, fair-haired second son of Clara Augusta Turner and the late James Turner (died 1903), of 8 Ash Road, Luton. Before leaving for Australia he was a travelling salesman for hat manufacturers Messrs Higinbotham and Sons, 16 Bute Street. He had returned home only once since, in about 1911, when his family were living at Cromwell House, 10 Ash Road.
He found work in warehouses at Sydney, New South Wales, then in May 1915 wrote to his mother that "the warehouses in dear old Sydney had formed a Brigade, and he had decided to to join the Australia Expeditionary Force with them". He enlisted in the Liverpool area of Sydney.
At the time of writing Pte Turner was acting as a clerk in the orderly room, and he was anticipating that the contingent to which he was then attached, the 4th Infantry Brigade, would be coming to England after doing a spell of training in Egypt.
On July 7th, however, he wrote that his contingent were leaving Cairo the next day to proceed to Alexandria, then to Lemnos, and then to the Dardanelles and were going right into the firing line. That was the last Mrs Turner heard of her son until his name appeared in casualty lists in September 1915.
Although she was still awaiting official notification about Frank, she had heard from another son, Pte Sidney William Turner, 3847, 'A' Company, 1/5th Bedfords, who had been wounded by a bullet in the right foot at Gallipoli on August 15th. He had been in hospital in Cairo before being transferred to a convalescent home. Sidney was 20 years old and a former CWS Cocoa Works employee in Luton.
Youngest son John, serving with the East Anglian Royal Engineers, would also have gone to Gallipoli had he not been too young for active service. He had been employed by Hat Materials Ltd in Collingdon Street, and following enlistment became officer's servant to Lieut Leslie Kent (of George Kent Ltd) but was not allowed to go to France with him. He then had a similar role with another officer at E.A.R.E. headquarters at Thetford and various other parts of the Eastern Counties.
In 1901 the family had lived at 24 Langley Street, Luton. Father James, born in Huntingdonshire, was then aged 41 and a foreman lithographic printer.
Pictured above, left to right, are Frank, Sidney and John Turner.