SERVICE NO: 3271
YEAR OF BIRTH: 1891
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hamilton
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 28 July 1915
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT: Melbourne
AGE AT ENLISTMENT: 24
UNIT: 60th Battalion (late 21st Battalion)
EMBARKED: 18 November 1915
TROOP SHIP: HMAT A18 Wiltshire
FATE: Killed in Action, Fromelles, France – 19 July 1916
This is the sad story of a boy who grew up without a mother and went to war leaving a little boy at home who grew up never knowing his father.
Soon after arriving in Egypt, Francis was transferred to the 60th Battalion and in June the battalion proceeded to France. Arriving on 28 June 1916, the battalion was thrown into the deep end with their first major battle on 19 July 1916 giving them no time to settle into trench life as they would have if they had arrived at a “quiet time.” The battle they were thrown into was the Battle of Fromelles and the 60th battalion suffered heavily with 757 casualties. Men were wounded and dead, others were missing. One of those missing was Hamilton’s Francis Tredrea.
News reached home of Francis and Abraham and Ada held out hope that Francis was a prisoner of the enemy. By October, there was still no news. Six months passed and his status was still “missing.” Out of desperation, in February 1917, poor Ada placed a notice in The Argus, seeking any news of Francis.
“MISSING SOLDIER.” The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957) 5 Mar 1917: <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1601491>.
During August 1917, thirteen months after he was reported missing, Ada wrote to the Defence Department looking for answers. The Defence Department reported back that a Court of Inquiry was investigating those missing. On 29 August 1917, the Court of Inquiry found that Francis was killed during the Battle of Fromelles.
On 5 September 1917, Ada placed a death notice in The Argus:
“After months of hopeful waiting
The sad cable it came through
Saying he nobly did his duty
As only loyal Australians do”
On 8 September 1917, the Leader (Melbourne), in the “Kennel Notes” column published a letter from Abraham Tredrea:
Memories of his upright ways.
Will linger with me all my days”