29 October 2018
“LEAVING ALL HE LOVED HE FOLLOWED DUTY'S CALL”
Francis John Dobrie [or Dobree] Knowling of Tenby, South Wales was born on 9 July 1891, to Helen and Dr Ernest Mansford Knowling. He had an older brother, Arthur, who also served in and survived the First World War, and three sisters Elsie, Helen and Marjory are listed in the 1901-1911 census for Tenby (Tenby St Mary in Liberty) Pembrokeshire. His parents were originally from Devon and Somerset but from at least 1891 to 1911 were living in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, where his father was a medical practitioner and where most of their children were born.
Francis attended Cheltenham College and then the Harper Adams Certificate course from 3 May 1909, to 27 March 1912 and went on to employment on Lord Rendlesham's Estate in Suffolk.
He served with the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry and then the 10th Bn., Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. His mother had died in March 1916 so never knew about his award of MC for distinguished service in June of that year. Returning to action after being wounded, he was killed in action 8 March 1918, age 26 and is remembered with honour at Canada Farm Cemetery (III. G. 37)
There is a photograph and more information about his service here:
Canada Farm cemetery in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, took its name from a farmhouse used as a dressing station during the 1917 Allied offensive on this front. Most of the burials are of men who died at the dressing station between June and October 1917. There are now 907 First World War burials in the cemetery.