MILLINGTON, Francis William

Private Francis William Millington
1931 South Notts Hussars
17099 Special Reservist Hussars of the Line
280808 1/1st Battalion South Notts Yeomanry

Francis was born in 1877 at Riddings, Alfreton, Derbyshire son of John William Millington, born Langley Mill, Heanor an ironworks shingler and his wife Lucy (nee Stendall), born Annesley. In 1911 Francis’ parents were living at Old Westwood (Palmerston Street) just a few doors away from the Primitive Methodist Chapel and Co-Op Store and the census notes that his mother Lucy was a nurse. Francis, then a coke maker, and his wife Adele (nee Smith) were also at Old Westwood, next door to the Congregational Chapel. Francis and Adele married in 1909 and by 1911 had one daughter Lucy Jane.  Subsequent children followed: Dorothy E 1911, John F 1913,  Gertrude 1916 (who died after only 6 hours and is buried at Westwood, St. Mary’s) Frances L 1920 and Nellie in 1921. Note the gap in children, no doubt due to Francis’s absence during the war.

Photo:  Millington Junior – Francis’ son John born 1913


On 1st September 1914 Francis enlisted at Nottingham for service with the Army Reserve. His attestation papers indicate that he was aged 33, was 5’5″ tall with brown eyes and hair. He had a tattoo of a girl’s head with a hat on on his right forearm. His religion is noted as Congregationalist. He had also previously served for 5 years with the 8th Notts Hussars. He signed on for just one year’s service as he was a special reservist, his contract noting, ‘for a term of one year, unless war lasts longer, in which case you will be retained until the war is over. If employed with hospitals, depots of mounted units and as clerks &c, you may be retained after the termination of hostilities until your services are spared but such retention shall in no case exceed six months. If however, war is over in less than one year you may be discharged at once.‘ Despite having served for 5 years for a previous term of service, Francis was discharged only 38 days later on the 9th October 1914 under King’s Regulations 392 iii(c) ‘not likely to become an efficient soldier‘. Francis had varicose veins, so the army found him unfit for service.

Francis must have recovered or improved because he enlisted again on 29th May 1915 and was a recipient of the 1914-15 Star, for services in the Egyptian theatre of war from 7th Dec 1915. He was also awarded the British War and Victory Medals, as well as Silver War Badge no B73845, although he was actually discharged from the Hussars on 1st Jan 1919.

Francis continued to take an interest in the Armed Forces and was one of the formative members of the Jacksdale British Legion in January 1926 as the following local newspaper reports:- ‘ British Legion At Jacksdale. Branch Formed. A meeting of ex-service men was held at the Portland Arms Hotel clubroom last Friday evening with the object in view of forming a branch of the Legion. Mr. F. Daley presided. The chief speaker was Capt. Harry Slater (organising Secretary, East Midland area), a native of Riddings. In his opening remarks the Chairman emphasised the need of an ex-service men organisation in the district and expressed the hope that all present would do their best to get the branch going. In the course of his very interesting and breezy address, Capt. Slater explained who the Legion is, what it intended to do, and what it is already doing for the relief of unemployed, disabled, and tubercular ex-service men and their dependants. Above all, he said, the Legion was definitely pledged to peace, was non-political, and absolutely democratic. The following officials were elected to form the branch: – Chairman, Mr. F. Daley: Treasurer, Mr. J. Sheriston: Secretary, Mr. A. Tansey: Committee: Messrs. J. Peach, F. Hill, H, Sheriston, J. R. Wilbraham, J. Newsum, H. Thurman, L. Gothard, and F. Millington. It was hoped all ex-service men will rally round and make the branch a success.’ 1926 January 29th.

Francis and his wife were also caretakers of the Westwood Congregational Church for many years.