Lieutenant Francis Haylen
2nd Battalion, AIF
Service Number: Z1428
Born: 1892, Queanbeyan, NSW
Died: 21 September 1917, Hooge, Belgium
Francis Henry Haylen was born in 1892 at Queanbeyan NSW, the son of Frances Haylen, who was the daughter of Irishman Thomas and his wife Catherine (Day) Haylen. The family lived in the Braidwood/Queanbeyan area before moving to Sydney. Francis Haylen was raised by his grandparents as their own son. He completed his schooling at Marist Brothers High School Goulburn and the Superior Public High School, Chatswood. His mother Frances married William Brown in 1900 and they had moved to Chatswood by about 1905. After leaving school, Haylen worked as a clerk for the NSW Government Railway and was stationed at Penrith when he enlisted.
Haylen enlisted on 15 September 1915 along with his fellow railway work mate and friend Reg Sullivan. They were both allocated to the 2nd Battalion. After six months service, Haylen was awarded his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was originally allocated to the 19th Reinforcements, but was hospitalised shortly before departure. He finally sailed with the 22nd Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion aboard the SS Nicholson which left Sydney on 8 November 1916 arriving at Devonport England on 10 January 1917. Haylen marched into the 1st Training Battalion on the following day. He was hospitalised on 15 February with an abscessed ear and returned to the 1st Training Battalion on 10 March.
Haylen proceeded overseas on 2 May and marched into the 1st Australian Divisional Base Depot at Etaples on 4 May. He joined his unit on 7 May in the Ypres area and on 10 August was promoted to Lieutenant. Haylen was killed during the Third Battle of Ypres on 21 September 1917 and was buried just east of Hooge, a small village to the east of Ypres. His gravesite could not be identified after the war. Haylen left his estate to his ‘sister’ Frances Brown. His war pension was granted to Frances as his mother. Haylen’s friend Sullivan died of wounds on 12 April 1917 and was buried at Pozieres.
- Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith
- Honor Roll, Penrith Superior Public School
- Honor Roll, St Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Penrith
- National Archives Australia: B2455 HAYLEN F H
- Australian War Memorial First World War Nominal Roll
- Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
- Penrith City Library Biography files