Before enlisting he worked for 12 years in the Goods Yard at the Priory Station, Dover.
In the 1901 Census Gilbert was 15 years old and living at 22 Paul’s Place, Dover with his parents and five siblings.
In the 1911 Census he and his wife Annie, and their 7 month old daughter Rose, were living at 56 Clarendon Street in Dover. His occupation was listed as ‘Carman’. On 29 August 1914 he enlisted and went to France in May 1915.
His records tell us that he was 5 feet 7 and a half inches tall and weighed 137lbs (9st 11lbs).
He came home on leave on 10 December 1915 and was killed exactly three months later on 10 March 1916 aged 30.
Among the military records are correspondence sent to the army from Gilbert’s widow, Annie, who was 25 years old with two children aged 6 and 4 years. Annie’s letters reads:
I have received the belongings of my husband quite safe thanking you very much. May I ask if his leather belt were taken off as I would very much like it. Also cap badge and small pay book. Also could I know the place where he was buried and if there is a token at his resting place as one may be able …to visit the spot will be grately obliged to you for answering the same.
A E Hopper, 11 Noah’s Ark Road, Tower Hamlets, Dover