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Corporal 27909, 3rd Battalion Cheshire Regiment.

Died 21st June 1916, age 26.

Buried in Grantchester (SS Andrew and Mary) Churchyard, Cambridgeshire. UK.

Assistant lecturer in Greek and Latin.


 

Francis, born in 1890 at Kimbolton, Hunts, was the only son of Charles Edmund Haskins of St. John’s College, Cambridge. He was educated at Charterhouse School and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1910 he won the Sir William Browne medals for Greek and Latin epigrams. In 1912 at Cambridge, he won the Chancellors Classical Medal, got second prize in the Yeats Prize and in the same year was awarded the Charles Oldham Classical Scholarship. He joined Manchester University as an assistant lecturer in Greek and Latin in 1914. On 7th June 1916 he married Dorothy Mary Winser at Knutford.

Francis enlisted in the Cheshire Regiment. The circumstances of his death are unusual. He was found dead in camp on 21st June 1916 due to a gunshot wound to the chest. At an inquest held in Liverpool two days later a sergeant gave evidence that a shot had been heard in a hut and it was reported that a soldier was wounded in the arm. Haskins was then found lying dead with the muzzle of a rifle pressed against his breast and the trigger near his foot. How he came into possession of a catridge was unknown. Francis was reported to be of a reserved disposition in camp and to have done a lot of reading. A Corporal stated that the night before Haskins had complained that his memory had completely gone. Mrs Haskins explained that Francis had suffered for many months from exhaustion due to overwork and he had enlisted while suffering from a breakdown. She did not believe he had ever threatened to commit suicide and when she had seen him last he had seemed a little better. The jury returned a verdict of suicide during temporary insanity and expressed sympathy with his widow.