Lieutenant Frank Reinhardt Fischer

Ranks Held Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant
Birth Date 1888-01-13
Birth Place Australia: South Australia, Adelaide
Death Date 1918-08-10
Death Place France
Final Rank Lieutenant
Service Australian Imperial Force
Unit 6th Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918

Frank Reinhardt Fischer was born on 13 January 1888 in Adelaide, one of six children of Johannes Hugo Fischer and Annie Fischer (née Clausen). By the time he was 13, the Fischer family had lost both parents and his 21-year-old brother Hugo became the head of the family. After his schooling, Frank Fischer trained as an accountant.

On 13 December 1915 he enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force. His older brother, Harold Asmus Fischer, had served with the Otago Battalion of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and had been killed on Gallipoli on 7 August 1915. After several rotations in Australia, Frank attended an officer’s short course from April to June 1916, but in October his appointment as second lieutenant was terminated.

Fischer re-enlisted on 30 January 1917 at Broadmeadows, now aged 29, and this time was allocated to an actual fighting unit, the 6th Infantry Battalion. He was recommissioned as a second lieutenant and embarked on 4 August 1917 from Melbourne aboard the troopship Themistocles. In October Fischer disembarked at Glasgow and underwent further officer’s training. While in England he was able to meet up with his sister, emerging opera star Elsa Stralia, and on 28 December he joined the 6th Battalion in the trenches of Belgium.

In January 1918, Fischer wrote home that he had been sopping wet for three days and had been six days without changing his clothes, with a further three to go. He admired the toughness and resilience of the Australian soldiers in these conditions. In February 1918, he managed a week’s leave in Paris, and was promoted to lieutenant. In March and April, the Battalion helped halt the German spring offensive and later participated in the allies’ own offensive, launched near Amiens on 8 August 1918.

On 10 August 1918 at Lihons near Villers-Bretonneux, he was seen shot in the head and killed instantly during the advance of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. Fischer was 30 years old. He was buried at Bayonvillers British Cemetery near Corbie but was reinterred, along with 36 other Australian soldiers, at Heath Cemetery in Picardie in April 1920.



Date of birth 13 January 1888
Date of enlistment 30 January 1917
Date of embarkation 04 August 1917
Date of death 10 August 1918