Eric Francis was born on 3 June 1907, educated at Charterhouse and began his working career in Paris in 1927.
Shortly after, he was posted to Bird & Company in Calcutta, and then to Bengal, Assam, China and Burma over a number of years. Throughout the war he was in charge of Calcutta's Port, Railway and Stevedoring Authorities, responsible for the handling and distribution of supplies both military and civil. At its peak the port handled 3 million tons of cargo, employing over 35,000 people.
In 1949 he became Managing Director at Bird & Company's new subsidiary in Rangoon. Beside his main responsibilities to the Company, he was in 1952 elected unanimously by the Joint Chambers of Commerce to be the Burmese Government's representative in negotiation with foreign shipowners, and was placed in charge of the Port at Rangoon's Dock Labour Board.
In 1954 he was deputed to start an office for Bird & Company in the new capital of Orissa. He was given administrative charge of the construction of a £ 1.8m paper mill, and the overseeing of the Company's vast manganese, iron ore and forestry interests. In May 1955, he tendered his resignation, feeling that the inhospitable climate, and lack of any medical facilities were not in the best interests of his family. Thus ended 27.5 years of service in the East.
He married Monica Lampen on August 31, 1938, daughter of Canon Charles D. Lampen of New Church, Kent. He had custody of the son, John Francis Dudley on the dissolution of the marriage. He married secondly childhood friend Helen Mary Robertson, a widow of Laurence Aston Robertson and daughter of Ernest Jackling of Several, Hythe, Kent. Eric Francis and Helen Mary had a son Andrew James.
Eric Francis died in 1976 after a serious accident, followed by a long illness.
• Lidderdale, Robert Halliday, An Account of the Lowland Scots Family of Lidderdale, 1950 unpublished manuscript.
• Lidderdale, Halliday Adair, The Descendants of John Lidderdale 1783-1845, 1988 unpublished manuscript.
• Patrick Lidderdale family tree on Genealogy.com (http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/l/i/d/Patrick-J-Lidderdale/)