Person    | Male  Born 8/10/1893  Died 18/5/1915

Lance Serjeant Francis James Hocking, DCM

Categories: Armed Forces

Countries: France

War dead, WW1 i

Commemorated on a memorial as having died in WW1.

Francis James Hocking was born on 8 October 1893 in Kentish Town, Middlesex (now Greater London), the elder of the two children of William Hocking (1867-1950) and Fanny Hocking née Lovejoy (1865-1950). His birth was registered in the 4th quarter of 1893 in the Pancras Registration District, Middlesex (now Greater London). His sister, Jessie Hocking (1896-1980), was born on 10 October 1896.

In the 1901 census he is shown as aged 7 years and living in three rooms at the Copley Dene Gardener's Lodge, Cholmeley Park, Highgate, Middlesex (now Greater London), with his parents and his sister. His father was described as a domestic gardener.

From De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 we learn that he was educated at Whittington School, Highgate Road and at Acland Higher Grade School, Fortess Road, London, 

On 3 January 1910, giving his age as 17 years and 3 months, he enlisted in the 7th (Territorial Force) Battalion, Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment), service number 1027, giving his occupation as a clerk in a railway clearing house.

He continued to be shown as a clerk in a railway clearing house and aged 17 years in the 1911 census, still living in the three roomed property called The Gardener's Cottage, Copley Dene, Cholmeley Park, Highgate, with his parents and his sister. His father again described himself as a domestic gardener and his sister was shown as at school.

On the outbreak of World War One he volunteered for overseas service and embarked with his regiment for Gibraltar where on 23 September 1914 he was promoted to Corporal. He returned to England on 13 February 1915 and was appointed as a Lance Serjeant. On 9 March 1915 he entered France and suffered a compound fracture to a femur on 7 May 1915. He was treated initially at a Field Ambulance on 8 May 1915 before being transferred to the No.6 Casualty Clearing Station at Merville, France. On 10 May 1915 he was taken to a hospital in Boulogne, France and was evacuated to England on 13 May 1915 where he was treated at the Royal Army Medical Corps' 1st London General Hospital in Camberwell. He developed an anaerobic infection and died there, aged 21 years, on 18 May 1915. His death was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1915 in the Lambeth Registration District, London. He was buried in Plot 131, Grave 39908 in Highgate Cemetery East, Swain's Lane, London, N6 6PJ on 19 May 1915 according to the Deceased Online website.

His army effects totalling £27-19s-7d were sent to his father and to a legatee called Miss Violet M. Clark on 4 January 1916 and they were sent his £4-0s-0d war gratuity on 4 September 1919.

He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal 'For gallant conduct and resource on the night of 7 May, 1915, when with a party covering important new works between our own and the German lines. The enemy stalked the party, and rushed on them from flank and rear. L.-Sergeant Hocking continued to act with the greatest courage and coolness, although severely wounded, and gave a fine example to his men of steadiness and devotion to duty''. He was also posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal 1914-1918 and the Victory Medal.

His gravestone confirms that he was also known as Frank which accounts for him being shown as 'FRANK J. HOCKING D.C.M.' on both the Highgate Camp memorial plaque in the gate outside 107 Swain's Lane, London, N6 and the Highgate United Reform Church war memorial, on the Forecourt, Pond Square, London, N6.

He is also commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, on the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War website and on the A Street Near You website. These three website all show his date of death as 14 May 1915 but we have used the date of 18 May 1915 as this the date shown on his army service records, the register of army effects and on his headstone.

Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Lance Serjeant Francis James Hocking, DCM

Commemorated ati

Highgate Camp

We understand that at least 13 of these names are also on the memorial cross ...

Read More

Highgate United Reform Church war memorial

2015: We read that the cross is being refurbished.  13 or 14 of these names a...

Read More

Other Subjects

ORP Dragon

ORP Dragon

Former Cruiser in the Polish Navy. ORP stands for Okret Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (Ship of the Polish Republic).

Vehicle, Armed Forces, Poland

1 memorial
George Alfred Brown

George Alfred Brown

Group Captain George Alfred Brown, DFC, was born 6 July 1912 in India and our Picture source gives details of his career in the Royal Air Force. This confirms that he was one of the 2,937 airmen wh...

Person, Armed Forces, India

War served, WW2
1 memorial
Ralph Reader

Ralph Reader

Squadron Leader Ralph Reader CBE, officer commanding the Royal Air Force Gang Shows 1939 - 1946. Recognised for exceptional services to world Scouting, 1975. Originator of the Scouting Gang Show. ...

Person, Armed Forces, Music / songs, Theatre, TV & Radio

2 memorials
George Bridges Rodney

George Bridges Rodney

Born London. Naval officer involved in the American revolution. Died in Hanover Square.

Person, Armed Forces

2 memorials