Private Francis Louis Geoffroy


Frank Louis Geoffroy was born on 16 January 1894 at Carraboola, Ballymahon, County Longford, the last of nine children of land steward George Geoffroy and his wife Kate (née Cox). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Main Street, Edgeworth, County Longford, with his parents and four of his siblings, his father working as a farmer and proprietor of the Imperial Hotel.

Geoffroy, with his brother James Charles, emigrated to the United States in April 1911, where he worked as a clerk in Brooklyn. He returned at the end of 1915, and on 29 January 1916 enlisted in the North Irish Horse (No.2104). Later that year he embarked for France, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the infantry. Geoffroy was one of 70 men given the job of conducting the regiment's horses to Egypt, to be handed over for use by mounted units there. They embarked from Marseilles on board HMT Bohemian on 25 August. After a month at Alexandria they returned to France, via Italy. On 5 October 1917 they arrived at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur for infantry training, and after just a few days were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which had been renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 12 October. Geoffroy was issued regimental number 41571.

Geoffroy probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and probably also during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918. He was wounded in the left arm in the spring of 1918, probably in the fighting near Kemmel Hill during early to mid-April. After treatment at the 18th General Hospital, he was evacuated to the UK.

On 12 November 1918 Geoffroy was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations) due to his wound.

Following the war Geoffroy returned to Longford, where he became a garage proprietor. On 15 December 1924 he married nurse Kathleen Elizabeth Fetherston at St Matthias's Church of Ireland Parish Church in Dublin. He later returned to the United States and lived in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, where he died in 1975.