Glen Franklin
Service number 3343

Like Glen Franklin, the Australian Flying Corps was still very young when the Canungra-born teenager enlisted in February, 1918.

Aviation was literally just taking off and Australia was the first of what was then referred to as “Britain’s dominions” to have its own flying corps, after Point Cook was established in Victoria in 1914 with just two instructors and five flimsy aircraft.

As he was under 21, Glen needed the permission of his parents, Edwin and Ann Franklin, of Wonglepong, to enlist. Both were from pioneering families of the Tamborine and Canungra district – Edwin’s father, Henry Franklin, migrating to Australia from England in 1853 and Ann’s father, Caleb Curtis, arriving in 1866.

Glen was a machinist by trade, as was his brother, Stewart Franklin, who had enlisted in the AIF in September 1915.

Glen’s service record indicates he spent a month with the AIF Hospital Unit before joining the Air Corps’ Technical Unit on March 29, 1918.

After training at Laverton, near Point Cook, Glen boarded a train in Melbourne, bound for Sydney, on May 6.

He left Sydney on the HMAT Osterley two days later and arrived in Liverpool, England, on July 10.

From the Australian Flying Corps Depot, Glen joined the 5th Training Squadron on September 28 and then the 1st Australian Flying Corps Wing, Tetbury, just six weeks before the end of the war.

Glen was hospitalised with measles from March 7 to 28, 1919, returning to the Australian Flying Corps Headquarters at Tetbury.

On May 6 he embarked for Australia on the Kaisar-I-Hind, which was not, as might be expected, among the Allies’ shipping spoils of war but a passenger ship which had served the route to India before the war, its Hindi name meaning Empress of India.

“Aviation was just taking off.”

Three ringing cheers were given by the Canungra contingent.

On May 6 he embarked for Australia on the Kaisar-I-Hind, which was not, as might be expected, among the Allies’ shipping spoils of war but a passenger ship which had served the route to India before the war, its Hindi name meaning Empress of India.

En route to Australia, Glen spent four days in the ship’s hospital suffering from bronchitis. He arrived in Sydney on June 19 and was discharged from the Australian Flying Corps on July 5.

An account in the Beaudesert Times on August 1, 1919, headed Welcome home, described the happy scene when Glen and his brother, Stewart, returned from the war.

“The Wonglepong residents gathered at the railway station to welcome home Private Stewart Franklin of the 25th Battalion and Private Glen Franklin of the Australian Flying Corps,” it read.

“The station was very tastefully decorated with flags and pot plants. The returned men upon alighting were very warmly congratulated by the many friends present and three ringing cheers were given by the Canungra contingent as the train steamed out of the station.

Franklin Street at Canungra is a tangible reminder of the link between Glen’s pioneering forebears and the development of the district.

The Kaiser-I-Hind in its wartime ‘dazzle’ camouflage.

(Image: Public Domain)

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