Francis Robert Elms

Francis Robert ELMS, M.M and Bar
Sergeant 225777
1st Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment

Formerly 2421, 1st Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment

Born at Mountain Ash. Resided in Phillipstown.

Francis Robert Elms was born in Mountain Ash the eldest son of Francis Robert Elms & Mary Elizabeth nee Davies.

By the 1911 census the family had moved to  117  Derlwyn Street, Phillipstown, New Tredegar. Francis and Elizabeth had seven children who were:

Francis Robert Elms, born 1st June 1895
Sarah Elms, born in 1897
George Elms, born in 1899
Fred Elms, born in 1901
William James Elms, born in 1903
Doris Elms, born in 1905 and
Alice Elms who was born in 1908.

[There is an issue with the 1911 Census entry which shows all seven children, but also shows that only six children were still living and one had died.]

Both Francis Robert senior and junior are shown as miners in the 1911 Census.

He enlisted in the army on 31st August 1914 as a private  in 1st Battalion Monmouthshire Regiment . His service number was 2421 and by 13th February 1915 he was in France.
The service numbers of Monmouthshire regiment soldiers were changed on 1st March 1917 after which, his number was 225777.
He was discharged on the 26th February 1919 under King’s Regulations para (xvi) ‘no longer physically fit for service.’

Francis Robert Elms was awarded the Military Medal and Bar for gallantry. The first award was published in the London Gazette on 16/08/1917 for action on 24/06/1917 and the Bar to the Military Medal was published on 13/03/1919 for action on 30/ 11/1918. Select the links (right) to view the entries in The London Gazette for each award.

He was also awarded a silver war badge ( no B277697) for injuries that he sustained in action and probably resulted in his discharge.

Award of the Military Medal.

Award of the Military Medal Bar.

Silver War Badge entry.

PDF reader required for above.

The citation for the award of the Military Medal to Francis Robert Elms reads:

46 Division  1 Corps. June 21st 1917.  1/1st Batt. The Monmouthshire Reg.TF. Sergeant Francis Robert Elms 225777  recommended by C. A. Evill Lt. Col. Comdg 1st BN Monmouthshire reg TF

Action for which commended.

This N.C. O on the night of 19/20th June 1917 was one of a covering party of 1 officer and 15 other ranks, sent out to protect a party of the battalion which was to wire in front of the new advanced position at M 42 B ( sheet 36B) in the neighbourhood of hill 65 SW of Lens.

At 12.15am the enemy opened a most intense fire on our trenches with artillery trench mortars and machine guns and it appeared as though an attack or raid was imminent . The officer in charge of the party was badly wounded and one of the men Sargeant Elms at once took charge of the party. He bound up the wounded officer and man , and they were carried to the rear.

In spite of the fire which was increasing sargeant Elms remained in position, although only most scanty cover was again able encouraging his party by his very gallant manner until ordered to withdraw, which was sometime later. This was effected without further loss mainly owing to the skill and good leadership of this N. C. O.

Sargeant Elms shewed a magnificent example to his men throughout a very trying time, this is not the first time that this N. C. O. Has behaved in a conspicuous and gallant manner, and he has always shown the qualities of a most excellent platoon sargeant.

Soon after the war, in 1920 Francis Robert Elms married Violet Davies in Herefordshire. They had a son named Southwell.

They ran The Pheasant Hotel in Malvern, Worcestershire until he retired when his son took over. Francis Robert Elms died on 25th December 1977.

The photo (left) shows Francis Elms second from the left and the photo (right) was taken outside The Pheasant Hotel, Malvern.

The information, family photographs and citation information in this page has been kindly given by a family member, Christine Dye.

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