Northern Territory Government

Roll of Honour

CHAVEZ, Francisco Augusto

Wharfies

Ships docked at Darwin Wharf.


Francisco Augustus Chavez, also known as Francis; a British national from Hong Kong, was employed on the wharf as a winchman. He was single, about forty years old and lived at Railway Hill, Darwin. Chavez had one sister, Beatrice Maria and they grew up with step-sister Pantaleona Mary Ponce, and step-brother, Eusebio Joseph Ponce, the children of Rafael Ponce. On 17 July 1919, Chavez officiated as best man at the wedding of step-sister Miss Pantaleona Mary Ponce to Mr Rafael Perez in Darwin’s Roman Catholic Church, followed by a wedding breakfast at the Catholic Club. Perez arrived in Darwin on the Kwanto Maru from South America in 1915.

The first lot of bombs dropped during the Darwin raid landed in the water of Darwin Harbour. The second lot hit the right angle of the wharf, destroying a large section of the decking and severing access to the land. The explosion threw a locomotive and six railway trucks into the water, along with Geoffrey Dangerfield, Ernie Hodges, Francisco Chavez and Earl ‘Whitey’ Shores; all were killed instantly.

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