Francis Clifford PATIENT

From Commonwealth War Graves Commission website:

Private Francis Patient { 250761 } 5th Battalion, Essex Regiment who died on 26 March 1917 Age 21.

Son of Harry and Alice Patient, of Gallow Green, Duton Hill, Dunmow

Remembered on Jerusalem Memorial.

From 1911 Census:

Aged 15 in 1911, a bricklayer and labourer.  Both parents living; only child listed on census.


Information from the Western Front Association (Essex Branch).

Pte F C Patient was killed in action during the 1st Battle of Gaza (which lasted from 24th to 28th March 1917) when the 5th Battalion of the Essex Regiment lost 133 men.  He was entitled to the British War Medal and Victory Medal.

 A report in the Regimental History produced by the Western Front Association points out that, as Territorials, the men of the 5th Battalion did not have to serve outside the British Isles, but they volunteered to do so.  The Regimental History gives a detailed description of the battle of Gaza:

 Each Company was in line of platoons and advanced in perfect order, as if on field manoeuvres.  When a mile from the Turkish positions the enemy machine guns opened fire on the two battalions which moved into line of sections and rapidly into open order at three-pace intervals.  Moving quickly, almost at a run, the long line (approximately 1,000 yards) pressed on and then with a pause to await ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies of the 6th Battalion, rushed the Turkish trenches and took them.  […]  The casualties from machine gun fire over the last 2,000 yards of the advance were severe.

 This battle was ultimately unsuccessful, however.  “The First Battle of Gaza was over, the British Divisions had taken 4,000 casualties, the Turks about 2,300 and the opportunity to capture Gaza had been lost.  The immediate result was the establishment of a strong Turkish position along the Gaza-Beersheba road with the Gaza garrison increased by 8,500 troops”.

Click here for the CWG Certificate for Francis Patient

British War Medal (BWM) 1914-20

Victory Medal (VM)