Francis Herbert Zacharias was born at Crosby in 1885. He was the son of Ernest Robert Zacharias, a cotton broker, and his wife Charlotte Amelia (nee Ashley). His father was born in Germany but was a naturalised British citizen. His mother was from the Isle of Man. She survived her son by just a month.
Francis was educated at Merchant Taylors and Bremen. He followed his father into the cotton trade as a clerk and foreign correspondent. He married Gladys Mary Eastwood in June 1916. Their home was at Victoria Road, Waterloo. A son, Francis James Zacharias, was born after his fatherís death.
An extensive biography appeared in Liverpool's Scroll of Fame. His photo appeared in the biography and is reproduced here with the kind permission of Liverpool Record Office.
3rd Battalion,
   SECOND-LIEUTENANT Francis Herbert Zacharias embodied in his bright and manly personality a sterling sense of citizenship. Long before the Germans issued their challenge to the world he had foreseen the inevitability of war, and he cheerfully surrendered his leisure to military training. Not only did he join the 6th Liverpools, but he exerted himself in obtaining Territorial recruits, and the gift of a silver bowl was awarded him as the chief recruiter of his company. He was an excellent shot, winning many cups and other tokens in competition, and amongst these was the cup presented by the President of the Cotton Association in 1913.
   Zacharias, who was destined to reach only his thirty-first year, completed at Bremen the education he had commenced at the Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby. Later he was apprenticed to Messrs. Inman, Akers and Inman, an American firm of Cotton Merchants, and three years afterwards he went to the States with Messrs. Hazlehurst, McAllister & Co. Coming home in 1907 he returned for a time to the service of Messrs. Inman, Akers and Inman, and from 1909 until the outbreak of hostilities he was with Messrs. F. Kreitmair & Co., of Liverpool. In his business relationships he had a reputation of shrewdness and capacity.
   Upon mobilisation he held the rank of Sergeant, and after completing his training with his battalion, the 6th, in various parts of the country, he was among the first band of Territorials who crossed over to France in February of 1915, to reinforce the thinly held line of the original "Contemptibles." Many months of hard fighting under the worst possible conditions fell to the lot of those heroes of the early days of the war, for they were sadly outnumbered, and the enemy was pouring over shells upon the hurriedly devised British defence without our men having the wherewith to make an adequate response.
   The first serious British attack of note was the memorable Hill 60 Battle, and Lieutenant Zacharias went through that operation. It was about this time that the shortage of officers, due to the gaps which had already been made, and the necessity of providing for the huge armies which were being built up at home, was being keenly felt, and the authorities wisely made a careful selection among those who had already borne the brunt of the early fighting, and who had had first hand experience of campaigning under modern conditions. Thus it was that the subject of this memoir had been out at the front for about a year doing brave and efficient work when his obvious title to commissioned rank was recognised.
   Early in 1916 he came home for training, and it was on the 2nd of June in that year that he was married to Miss Gladys Eastwood, of 14, Victoria Road, Waterloo. But about this time the British launched the first of their great offensives which were to break the power of the German army, and establish the superiority of the Allies. For this stupendous operation the services of every available man were required, and September 6th saw him en-route once more for France, this time as a Second-Lieutenant in the 3rd South Wales Borderers, and it is lamentable that within three weeks he had been killed between Flers and Eaucourt L'Abbaye.
  The circumstances of his death were typical of the man, and of the cool and resourceful courage, high-minded sense of daring, and personal unselfishness that were ever his guiding qualities. It was in the course of the Somme offensive that the tragic incident happened. He went out on his own initiative, in charge of a working party in support of the 1st Black Watch, and on reaching that regimentís bombing party found them in difficulties. One part of the trench was held by the British, and the other by the Germans, who were preventing our men from erecting a barricade. Zacharias immediately rallied the bombers, and with a Sergeant and two or three men went out and drove off the enemy, holding them back while the barricade was completed. He then ordered his men to retire, and while they got back over the barricade he and the Sergeant remained out to cover their withdrawal. He gave his life for his men, being shot through the head before he could withdraw himself. The Sergeant was also wounded.
   "He died in the way we would have expected of him, and in a manner typical of his life - utterly unselfish." So wrote one of his comrades, and the homage is endorsed by other fellow officers, who declared that he was one of the most reliable and conscientious soldiers the battalion possessed. The C.O. himself testified that his death was  great loss to the regiment, and notice was taken of the very gallant conduct which he displayed. and which would assuredly have been recognised had he been spared.
   He was the son of Mr. Ernest Robert and Mrs. Charlotte Zacharias, and to him a son was born posthumously in April, 1917.

Liverpool's Scroll of Fame

A death notice appeared in the Evening Express
Newspaper (date) Evening Express (30-Sep-16)
Rank, Forename(s), Surname 2nd Lieutenant Herbert Zacharias
Regiment, Regimental No, medals South Wales Borderers
Cause and date of death, age Killed in Action 26-Sep-16
Information contained in notice Husband of Gladys Mary Zacharias address Rosemarket Victoria Road Waterloo
His brother Frederick Albert Paul Zacharias married Gladys Ross at Christ Church, Waterloo, in 1912. Their son, Major John Paul Zacharias, fell in World War Two.
Gladys Ross' brother Harold Ross fell in the Great War.