Francis Gubbins Roche

August 4, 2015

ROCHE, Francis Gubbins- – – SPC 1893

DoB:- – 1877, North Melbourne, VIC

Father:- – Michael Gubbin Roche

Mother:- – Mary, nee Riordan

Francis Roche was a foundation student at St Patrick’s. In the College Annual of 1916-1917 it was noted that Frank Gubbins Roche was –

-‘-¦ one of the first pupils of SPC -¦ who has had a long and varied active service. He served in the following wars -“ a) The Boer War, 1900; b) the Natal Rebellion, 1906; c) German West-South African Rebellion, 1915 (with Natal Light Horse under Louis Botha). In 1916 he enlisted in the 15th Reinforcements, 6th Brigade, AIF.’

Service No:- 5875

Rank:- – Corporal

Unit:- – 23rd Battalion

Frank Roche enlisted in the AIF on 4 April 1916. He was 39 years old, and although he declared himself to be married, his wife, Rhoda’s whereabouts was noted as unknown. He was five feet, nine inches tall, with a medium complexion, grey eyes and black hair. His occupation was noted as journalist.

Corporal Roche’s service record contains numerous pages of attestation papers covering the years 1916 to 1919. It appears he enlisted and withdrew his enlistment on several occasions.

A letter from the Records Section of the War Office to Frank Roche in June 1924, provides the following details about his service in WWI:

2 October 1916 -“ embarked for active service abroad from Melbourne

12 November 1917 -“ returned to Australia.

11 January 1918 -“ discharged from the AIF at Melbourne, medically unfit. Disability -“ chronic dysentery.

14 May 1918 -“ re-enlisted in the AIF.

3 August 1918 -“ discharged from the AIF at Melbourne, medically unfit. Disability -“ chronic Rheumatism

This letter was addressed to Frank Roche who was residing at the time (1924) at the Mental Hospital, Royal Park, Melbourne. It seems through other correspondence in his file that Frank spent the remainder of his life in various -‘mental’ hospitals. In July 1926 he was at Liverpool Asylum in Sydney; in 1945 he was in the State Hospital at Lidcombe, NSW.

The College could find no other trace of Frank Gubbins Roche. It is more than likely that he died while resident at the Lidcombe State Hospital in Sydney, NSW.