Francis Dann Fitzjohn was born in Overton on the 25th June 1886, the first son of Francis & Jane Fitzjohn (nee Dann) who had married in the June quarter of 1884 at Boston, Lincolnshire (Boston Vol. 7a, , Page 735).
Francis Dann (named after his mother Jane’s surname) was recorded for the first time on a census in 1891. He was living on the High Street, Overton with his family. Head of the household was father Francis, 32 a Chemist & Grocer who had been born in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. His wife Jane, 35 had been born in Boston, Lincolnshire. Their children were Francis Dann, 5, Ethel, 4, both born in Overton, Flintshire. Francis’s brother Edward Fitzjohn, 30 was listed. He was a photographer, also born in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire. There was a servant Maria Martin, 16 born in Overton.
In the intervening years between censuses, Francis’s mother, Jane had given birth to a third child, Lilian. Jane however, had died in the June quarter of 1897, age 40 years. (Ellesmere Vol. 6a Page 419)
Francis Fitzjohn remarried in St Cyndeyrn’s Church, St. Asaph (Denbighshire North (Rhyl) CW04/02/E116) to Mary Williams on the 15th August,1899. The marriage Certificate tells us that his father was Edward Fitzjohn and that he was a Builder. Mary was a Schoolmistress living at Elwy Grove, St. Asaph, and her father, Edmund Williams was an Assistant Overseer.
The 1901 census records that the family was still living in the High Street. Francis was still a Chemist and also by then a shopkeeper, an employer. Mary, his new wife, 35 had been born in Henllan, Denbighshire. The family included the 3 children from his first marriage to Jane. (Francis Dann, 14, Ethel, 13 and Lilian, age 8). There was a servant, Edith Jones, 17 who had been born in Erbistock, Denbighshire.
Francis Dann Fitzjohn was to emigrate to Canada in 1910 and was was listed on the Canadian Shipping Line Ship the “Montrose,” departing Liverpool on the 23rd April 1910, destination – Quebec. He was 23 years old. Francis made his home in Canada.
Perhaps he was thinking of home when the war was declared. Army records show that and on the 21st July 1915 Francis Dann Fitztjohn joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF). If you want to read his army records in some detail, then follow the link.
Library and Archives Canada.
On his Attestation Papers Francis stated that he had been in the 4 West Lancashire Royal F. Artillery for 3 years. He gave his date of birth as 25th June 1886 and the address and Country of birth was Overton, Flintshire. He named his father Francis Fitzjohn as his next of kin and gave his father’s address as Llys Caradog, Coedpoeth, Wrexham, Wales. He said that his trade or Calling was an ‘Advertiser’. He was unmarried. His records tell us that he was apparently 29 years and 1 month old. He was 5 feet 81/2 inches tall and had a chest measurement of 35 inches (with an inch and a half expansion range). His complexion and hair were fair and his eyes grey. His religion was C of E. He was signed as fit on the 21st July 1915 at Saskatoon.
The records state that in fact, he did marry a few weeks later, on the 2nd September 1915. Ada Fitzjohn at one time lived at 115 Main Street Mutana, Sask. Although he was in the overseas expeditionary Force it is unclear whether or not Francis ever served abroad. He had periods in 1915, 1916 and 1917 in Canadian hospitals suffering from anaemia. In December 1915 in hospital in Saskatoon it was noted that he was suffering from anaemia and musccular in coordination. On the second day of this stay in hospital he was described as obstinate and recommended for discharge by the medical board. There was a further period in July and August of 1916 when he was hospitalised with anaemia. His medical discharge was in fact confirmed on the 11th September 1916. He was admitted to St Paul’s Hospital Saskatoon on the 21st March 1917 with anaemia and two days later he died. (Obstinate?)
Ada remarried in the March quarter of 1920 to a James Barber at Nantwich (Nantwich Vol.8a, Page 677). Her address was recorded as 203 Walthall St., Crewe, England. There are papers in the records where the army recorded what moneys were owed or not to Ada in the way of Separation Allowances and War Gratuity.
His father Francis senior died aged 60, on the 24th June 1919. – Probate was granted on the 26th September 2929 –Fitzjohn, Francis of Llys Caradog, Coedpoeth, Bersham, Wrexham, Denbighshire retired chemist died 24th June 1919 at Liverpool. Probate St. Asaph 26th September to Mary Fitzjohn, widow. Effects £3609 9s 10d. The burial in St. Mary’s Churchyard, Overton was on the 28th June 1919.
Francis Dann is also commemorated on the Minera War Memorial.