Next of Kin plaque: Sergeant Francis Arthur Abbott, 33rd Battalion, AIF

Accession Number AWM2016.26.2
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Plaque
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'FRANCIS ARTHUR ABBOTT'. Contained in original cardboard sleeve.

History / Summary

Born in Penrith, New South Wales, Francis Arthur 'Frank' Abbott was employed as a grocer when he enlisted in the AIF on 16 February 1917. He had previously served in the citizen forces in the 3rd Australian Infantry Regiment for two years, for another two years as a lieutenant in the senior cadets and, from mid-1915, as an acting staff sergeant major instructor at Victoria Barracks in Sydney. Assigned the service number 3170, Abbott was posted a sergeant to the 7th Reinforcements to 36th Battalion. He embarked for overseas service from Sydney on 10 May, aboard HMAT A24 Benalla.

Abbott arrived in Plymouth, England on 19 July and was posted to the 9th Training Battalion as an instructor. He arrived in France, for service on the Western Front in December, and joined his battalion at Houplines, Belgium on Christmas Day. At the beginning of February 1918, suffering from trench fever, Abbott was evacuated to hospital in England. He rejoined his battalion in France, near Villers-Bretonneux, on 18 April. On 30 April the men of the battalion transferred to 33rd Battalion, as Australian units were merged as the number of reinforcements arriving dropped.

Abbott was killed near Peronne on 31 August during the battle to take Mont St Quentin, on a day when 33rd Battalion suffered 121 casualties. He was 25. He has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

This memorial plaque was sent to Abbott's father, Joseph, in November 1922.