Francis Ainley

Medals awarded

  • Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Members
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal 1914-19
  • India General Service Medal 1936-39
    Clasp: North West Frontier

Francis Clifford Ainley was born in Stainland, Halifax in 1898. He joined the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment with 15 other officers on 17 April 1918. He was accidentally wounded five days later but rejoined the battalion in June.

After the First World War he served in Ireland, and was awarded the MBE in recognition of his actions at Mitchelstown, County Cork on 1 May 1921.

A keen athlete, Ainley and his team won the Army Athletics Championships Unit Shield in 1922.

Captain Ainley was posted to 1st Battalion on his promotion in 1928, before returning to the 2nd Battalion as Adjutant in 1933.

On 13 July 1938 Captain FC Ainley MBE was killed in action on operations in Waziristan along with four other soldiers, Privates Barnes, Milburn, Corbett and Davison. A fellow officer wrote in The Gazette, “With Frank Ainley’s death, the Regiment has lost a character the like of which we shall, perhaps, never see again… It was impossible to be dull in his presence.”