47494 Private Francis (Frank) Edward Verdun Patrick Scanlan – 22nd Battalion 2nd NZEF

Francis Edward Scanlan, who was born in Dunedin, went to England in 1913. He married Alice May Downer in England in 1914[i] they had one daughter[ii] in 1914 and  a son, Francis Edward Verdun James Scanlan, born in Surrey, England on
12th June 1918.[iii]

The family returned to New Zealand in 1924 with Francis Edward Scanlan snr advertising a shop in Molesworth Shop in 1926[iv] and later theKiosk, Seatoun. Wellington. A third child Ronald William Scanlan was born in 1926.

On 5th July 1941 47494 Private Scanlan entered Trentham Military Camp. The 22 year old is listed as a single man working for the New Zealand Government as a clerk. Private Scanlan’s next of kin listed is his mother Alice May Scanlan, The Kiosk, Seatoun, Wellington.

Private Scanlan received basic training at Trentham following which he embarked on 18th August 1941 for Fiji.
Private Scanlan was a member of reinforcements assigned to the 29th Battalion, 2nd NZEF which was engaged in
garrison duties on Viti Levu, Fiji. The 29th Battalion returned to New Zealand in late 1942 when the US 37th Infantry
Division took over the garrison duties.

                                                                               Private Scanlan, with the 29th Battalion, in mid 1943 was then moved to
                                                                               New Caledonia as part of New Zealand’s 3rd Division. The 29th Battalion took                                                                                   part of the amphibious landing on Mono Island, Treasury Group, Solomon                                                                                         Islands. This was the first opposed landing for NZ Forces since the Gallipoli                                                                                       Campaign in 1915.

                                                                              Fox Holes in the Rain 

                                                                                                        Fox Holes Evening 

In 1944 manpower shortages in New Zealand and with US Forces
taking the majority of combat duties in the area  the 3rd Division,
including the 29th Battalion, was recalled to New Zealand. Those
men not required for local industries or Home Service were sent as
reinforcements to the 2nd NZEF 2nd Division fighting in Italy.

Private Scanlan embarked for a third time on 5th January 1945 arriving in Egypt on 29th January 1945. Following training and acclimatisation Private Scanlan was sent to Italy in February 1945 joining the 22nd (Wellington) Battalion in March
1943. Combat time with the 22nd Battalion was short, in April 1945 the 22nd Battalion was placed into reserve.

With the end of hostilities in Italy Private Scanlan was finally repatriated in August 1945 and discharged on 7th November 1945.

Frank returned to live with his mother, in Wellington, and work for the NZ Government as a public servant. Frank married Valerie Mavis Cook and the couple had three children.

The couple moved out to Porirua in 1954 to live in 12 Mexted Crescent, Porirua. The couple remained at 12 Mexted Crescent up until the death of Frank on 16th March 1972. Valerie died on 17th June 1982 both are buried in the Porirua Cemetery.

Frank during his military service held the temporary rank of Lance Corporal but the rank of
Private is the rank he was discharged at.
The grave of Frank and Val has been cleaned as part of a general clean up for Armistice 2018.

UK BDM online
NZDF Files: 47494 Private Francis Edward Scanlan
Porirua Cemetery records online

Fox Holes in the Rain: 3rd Division on Mono Island – Russell Clark Nat Archives R22504042
Fox Holes at evening: 3rd Division on Mono Island – Jack Crippen Nat Archives R122505143
Scanlan grave Porirua Cemetery: Melanie Macdonald

[i] Free UK BDM
[ii] Ancestry family tree Scanlan
[iii] NZDF Military files:47494 Private Francis Edward Scanlan
[iv] F E Scanlan, Molesworth Shops, 20 November 1926, Evening Post 
Fox Holes Evening  Mono Island