Francis McCracken was born in Northern Ireland in 1879. His family emigrated to Australia and his early years were spent on a cattle station. Later they moved to New Zealand where he grew up and received his first lessons in art.
McCracken served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) in France. He was severely wounded at Ypres, losing one leg from the knee down. Invalided out of the Army, he renewed his art studies in Edinburgh. In 1920 with two other soldier-artists (William Robert Johnson and John Weeks) he held a nation-wide exhibition which came to be called the “Soldiers Exhibition” and which was very successful. McCracken lived the later part of his life in Edinburgh, but loaned pictures for the “Centennial Exhibition of International and New Zealand Art” in 1940.
McCracken died in 1959.
- Archives New Zealand Documentation, Series 898, National Collection of War Art