Remembering an Australian Cavers soldier on Anzac Day

Today, 25th April, is a day of remembrance for the many soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who served in all wars, but perhaps especially, and at least originally, those who fought at Gallipoli in World War 1.

One of these Australian soldiers was Francis Cavers (1894-1918). Born at Hobkirk near Hawick in Scotland, son of William McLean Cavers and Margaret Robson Jepps, he was a gardener before he emigrated to Australia. He joined the Australian Imperial Force and served at Gallipoli before being invalided out with dysentery. Patched up in time to serve at the Battle of the Somme he received several injuries there, which again saw him invalided out. He returned to the war in late 1917, and was killed in France on 5th April 1918, aged just 24, leaving a widow Elizabeth and young daughter Mary. His younger brother John Jepps Cavers had died in 1915, on the way to Gallipoli.

Francis Cavers (1894-1918)

Thanks to Derek Robertson of Hawick and the Great War for some of this information, including the photo of Francis’s grave in France which he has just sent me.

Grave of Francis Cavers

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Records of Cavers soldiers serving in British army in Canada

Ancestry has recently added records of early 18th and 19th century British soldiers in Canada to its online databases.

Checking in there for Cavers there are a few matches. For example searching in the British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1795-1850 finds the following:

  • Walter Cavers and Ebenezer Cavers, both in Lieutenant Elias Durham’s Company of First Regiment of Lincoln Militia Upper Canada, 1837/8
  • Robert Cavers, in 6th, 7th and 8th Provisional Battalions, 9th Provisional Battalion (Queen’s Royal Borderers), 10th, 11th and 12th Provisional Battalions, 1838
  • Thomas Cavers, in 6th, 7th and 8th Provisional Battalions, 9th Provisional Battalion (Queen’s Royal Borderers), 10th, 11th and 12th Provisional Battalions, 1839

Some of the records above include original signatures of the men.

Likewise the UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Registers of Soldiers Who Served in Canada, 1743-1882 includes the following references:

  • Adam Cavers (1782-1864) from Cavers, Roxburghshire (son of Robert Cavers and Margaret Henderson), who served in the 3rd Regiment of Dragoons
  • James Cavers (b. ca 1785) from Wilton, Roxburghshire (son of Thomas Cavers and Janet Scott), who served in the 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards, and emigrated with his family to Canada