Francis John Joslin

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Family plate on the Victoria College war memorial

Old Victorian Francis John Joslin (1874-1915) was a career Army officer who saw service in South Africa, India and China, before dying at Ypres in the First World War .

Family

The son of John James Joslin and Mary Ann Sarah Cabot, he was born in Almorah Crescent on 2 September 1874. Educated at Victoria College 1886-92, he entered the Army throught the Militia, and obtained a commission in the Royal West Kent Regiment in 1895.

He served through the South African War, being present at the actions of Biddulphsberg and Wittenbergen. He was mentioned in despatches, and obtained the Queen's Medal with three clasps and the King's with two. He was Adjutant of his Battalion 1904-7.

China

He travelled on secret service in the interior of China, and received the thanks of the War Office for his work. He then passed through the Staff College, Quetta, joined the Headquarters' Staff, and was Brigade-Major to General Braithwaite, another Old Victorian, at the great Durbar at Delhi.

He had travelled extensively, and was well-known as a writer on military subjects. In the First World War he was Commandant on Lines of Communication at Rouen; but in February 1915 be rejoined his regiment, which had suffered severely, and was Second in Command of his Battalion.

On 17 April he led the assault which captured Hill 60 near Ypres, but on the following morning he was killed during a German counter-attack.

Evening Post report

"Distinguished Jersey Officer Killed in Action. Jersey has lost many of her gallant sons in the present campaign and yet another name, that of Major Francis John Joslin, has to be added to the list of those who have laid down their lives for King and Country. This gallant officer, who held a very distinguished record, was born in Jersey in 1874, he was educated at Victoria College and afterwards entered the 6th Kings Liverpool Regiment and from this Corps passed into the Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, a Regiment which holds a record second to none in the history of the British Army, and during the present campaign has never lost a trench, though this has not been done without terrible losses. The late Major Joslin was one of the most capable and efficient officers and his death will be not only a serious loss to his Regiment but to his Country, which he has served so faithfully and well. During the South African Campaign in which he served under Lord Kitchener, he was mentioned in despatches and received two medals with five clasps. He was also a graduate of the Staff College at Quetta and served as Brigade Major to General Braithwaite at the memorable Durbar. He also received the Durbar Medal. He had travelled extensively in Egypt, China, India and Ceylon on Government business and was a well known writer on military matters, he being one of the very few far seeing men who foretold the present campaign and how it would be brought about. His views on conscription were those of Lord Roberts and his death will remove one of the best contributors to military magazines. At the outbreak of war he received a Staff Appointment in Rouen, but his Battalion having received severe losses he gave this up to rejoin his Regiment with which he was killed in action in Flanders on Sunday last as Second in Command. Though he visited the Island very rarely he had many friends and acquaintances in Jersey who will hear with regret of his death. To these and to his mother and relatives we beg to offer our sincere condolences in their bereavement"
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