Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private George Gill

 

 

Gill 1

 

George Gill was born on 1 May 1891 at 75 Blackstaff Road, Belfast, the second of seven children of coachman John Gill and his wife Sarah Jane (nee Shields). By 1911 he was living with his family at 106 Belmont Road, Strandtown, Belfast, and working as a linen measurer. In 1915 he was working for linen firm Edward Gribbon & Sons, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast.

Gill enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim between 10 June and 6 July 1915 (No.1692 – later Corps of Hussars No.71502). Between 1916 and 1918 he embarked for France, probably with E Squadron in January 1916. In May 1916 E Squadron joined with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and re-formed as V Corps' cyclist regiment.

Gill saw action with the regiment during the Advance to Victory offensive from 21 August 1918. He was killed in action just south of Bazentin-le-Grand on 26 August, and was buried near where he fell (map reference 57.c.S.15.c.9.9).

After the war his body was exhumed and re-buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, Somme, France, grave IX.H.7. His gravestone inscription reads:

H/71502 PRIVATE
G. GILL
NORTH IRISH HORSE
26TH AUGUST 1918 AGE 24

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

 

Two of Private Gill's brothers also served in the war. Rifleman David Gill was killed on 21 March 1918 while serving with the 16th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Pioneers). Lance Corporal John Gill served in France with the 9th Battalion, Australian Infantry Force.

 

Image kindly provided by Richard Evans, see his website Nelson, Glamorgan and the Great War. Newspaper image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).