Frank Sowton


Rank: Corporal

Service Number: 4521

Units Served: 27th Battalion, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. 

Personal Details: Frank Leslie Sowton, was the son of Mary Sowton, of Kensington Park, South Australia; and the late William Sowton. Frank was born on 25th March 1894 at Norwood, South Australia, we was the youngest of six children. Frank’s trade was a Printer. He had been a Senior Cadet with the 19th Battalion for 1 year before transferring to the Citizen Forces for 4 years. He was 5ft 7inches tall, with dark hair and a medium complexion.

Enlistment details: Frank enlisted on January 19th, 1916 at the age of 21 years and 10 months.

Details about his role in War: Frank embarked from Adelaide on the 25th March 1916  on the HMAT ‘Shropshire’ to Alexandria. He then embarked from Alexandria on the HMAT ‘Tanisian’ on the 29th May 1916, disembarking at Marseilles on the 5th June, 1916. He proceeded to join his unit at Etaples on the 2nd August 1916 and was taken on strength with the 27th Battalion on 11th August 1916. On the 20th November 1916 in France he has hospitalised with Trench Feet and transferred via HS ‘Gookha’ to the 3rd SGH in England on the 2nd December 1916 until he went on furlough from the 10th till 29th   January 1917. On the 7th February 1917 he was admitted to the Australian Dermatological Hospital in Bulford suffering from VD for which he was hospitalised for 62 days before being transferred on the 17th April to the Convalescent Training Hospital at Parkhouse where he remained until he marched out to join the 16th Brigade at Perham. On the 29th April he was transferred to the 70th Battalion at Warhem where he was fined several times and confined to camp for various offences.  On the 19th September 1917 he was transferred back to the 27th Battalion and on the 18th October joined his unit in Belgium. On the 11th June 1918 he suffered a gunshot wound to the wrist and on the 12th June he was admitted to the 54th General Hospital and then on the 18th June to No. Convalescent Depot, before being admitted to the Australian Base Depot at Havre on the 4th July. He rejoined his unit on the 27th July 1918 and was appointed Lance Corporal on the 1st of September and then appointed Corporal on the 4th October 1918 while he was on leave in England. He rejoined his unit in France from leave in England on the 13th October 1918. On the 26th March 1919 he marched out to England where he was admitted to the 1st Convalescent Depot, then he was admitted to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Sutton Veny on the 1st April 1919 and listed as dangerously ill. He died 17 days later from Nephritis.

Age at Death: Aged 25

Date of Death: 18th April 1919

Cemetery or memorial details: St. John the Evangelist Churchyard, Sutton Veny Grave Ref. 83. L. 3.

The following words were inserted in to the "Advertiser" on the 17th April 1920 on the anniversary of his death, by his mother. Sourced through Trove.

SOWTON.—In loving memory of my dear son, Corporal Frank Sowton (27th Battalion), who died in England. April l8th, 1919. Could I, his mother, have clasped his hand, The son I loved so well. Or kissed his brow when death was near. And whispered "My son, farewell" I seem to see his dear sweet face. Through a mist of anxious tears, But a mother's part is a broken heart. And a burden of lonely years. —Inserted by his loving mother. 


Commemorated by


Cass Neale

26th November 2010