Arthur Francis CSC, OAM

Inducted 25 April 2013

Arthur Francis was born in Scotland in 1946 and migrated to Australia with his family when he was eight years old.  Initially, Arthur’s family lived in Cessnock, but in 1956 they moved to Kearsley.

Arthur attended West Cessnock and Kearsley Public Schools, and Cessnock High School.  Arthur demonstrated his leadership capabilities early, and was appointed School Captain at Kearsley, and class captain at high school.

Arthur participated in a wide range of activities at high school, including being a principal performer in school Gilbert and Sullivan productions.  He was also a prominent young sportsman, playing soccer in the Under 12 years State team, the East Cessnock, Police Boys Club and the Bellbird Under 18 years team.

In 1964, Arthur joined the Army, serving with distinction until his retirement in 1997.  From his early rank of Private, he rose to become Australia’s most senior soldier as Regimental Sergeant Major of the Army (RSM-A).  In this position, Arthur reported to The Chief of the Army, with responsibility for discipline, dress and ceremonial, conditions of service, career management and advice and counsel to senior officers on soldier matters.

During his time with the Army, Arthur saw active service in Malaysia, Borneo and Vietnam, and travelled extensively to other parts of the world.

In recognition of his distinguished career, among his many medals and awards, Arthur was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 1986 for his services to the Parachute Battalion, 3rd Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), and the Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC) in 1997 for his services to the Army.

In 2012, Arthur represented his country with the Prime Minister at the announcement of the establishment of an Australian section of the Vietnam Veterans’ Education Centre at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC, which will recognise Australia’s men and women who served in the Vietnam War.

Arthur continued to contribute to the community in many ways; attendance at community events such as ANZAC Day services and contributing to the establishment of the Australian Army Infantry Museum in Singleton, which opened in 2012.

Arthur Francis passed away 16 August 2016.

Plaque location

Kearsley Community Hall, 22 Allandale Rd Kearsley