Francis, a son of Francis and Mary Callinan, enlisted at Narrabri in May 1916 after having his medical examination at Inverell the previous month. He was a thirty year old single man, working as a Stud groom at Inverell. His younger brother, Stanhope, left Inverell earlier that year with the First Contingent of the Kurrajongs.

Francis was one of ten men given a farewell at Inverell Town Hall in May 1916. He joined the 1st Light Horse Regiment, 23rd Reinforcement and left Australia for Egypt on RMS Karmala in February 1917. During July and August that year he was employed on railway construction. In November he was wounded in action and treated for a gunshot wound to his foot. He returned to Australia and was discharged in May 1919.

After his return he was given a ‘Welcome Home’ at Auburn Vale in June when the students of the local school presented him with a gold mounted fountain pen, and residents of the area presented him with ‘a gold inscribed medal in recognition of his services to the Empire.’

Francis has his name inscribed on the Inverell Honor Roll.