Francis was born in 1885 near Cardiff, Wales to his parents George and Emma. He came to Australia in 1908 and two years later married his wife Elsie at Inverell NSW. Before the War he was employed at Thomas, Davis Sheedy and Company at Inverell.
At the age of 31 he enlisted at Toowoomba, Queensland and joined the 26th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement. Francis left Australia on HMAT A50 Itonus in August 1916 and arrived in England two months later. His wife and three children remained at Inverell.
After further training Francis was sent to France in February 1917 where just six weeks later he was wounded in action. After recovering from a gunshot wound to the head he rejoined his Battalion at the end of May. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in July.
Francis was killed in action on 3 October 1918 and buried at Prospect Hill Cemetery, Gouy, France. His personal possessions were returned to his wife at Inverell.
A brother, Douglas, served with the Welsh Guards 1st Battalion and was killed in action in September 1916. Both men have their names recorded on the Radyr War Memorial in Wales.