|Hauptmann Hugo von Francois, from his Nama under Damara. Deutsche Süd-West Afrika (1896)|
The von François brothers came an aristocratic German family of Hugenot ancestry. Their grandfather Karl von François served against Napoleon in 1812-1813 as a junior officer with the Russian Sumschen Hussars and ended his military career as a Prussian Lieutenant General. Their father, Generalmajor Bruno von François, died leading his division in 1870 at Spicheren, Lorraine, during the Franco-Prussian War. Another François brother - Hermann (1856-1933) was a highly decorated German General de Infantrie during WWI - Pour le Mérite with oak leaves - who played a decisive role in several battles on the Eastern Front including Tannenberg.
Hugo von Francois started his military career in the 26th Regiment and was adjutant of is 2nd battalion before posting to Africa.
|Schutztruppen in early uniforms with Commander Leutwein (circa. 1894-1896)|
Curt von François only spent five years in German Southwest Africa, but his brother Hugo, who later served in 4. Grenadier Regiment, retiring from from military service in 1899, returned as a settler with his family in 1901. He was a Captain in the Reserves when the German-Herero war began. He moved his family to Windhoek and prepared its defense. In February, 1904, he accompanied the Ost-Abteilung under Major von Glasenapp and was killed on March 13th at Owikokorero.