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Description

Albert Gill was born in Ystalyfera near Swansea to Anthony and Elizabeth Gill. He was the second youngest of thirteen children. His father was a Police Inspector and it seems Albert and his brothers and sisters moved around Glamorgan depending where his father was stationed. At the time of the outbreak of the war the family had moved to Caerphilly and his parents lived at "Llwyn-on", in St. Martin's Road. Albert enlisted into the army on the 7th September 1914 at Merthyr and at the time was employed as a fitter. He joined the Grenadier Guards, but transferred to the Welsh Guards on the regiment's formation in February 1915. Albert Gill was killed on Saturday 16 September 1916 when he took part in the great charge of the Welsh Guards at Guillemont on the Somme. The History of the Welsh Guards (written by C.H. Dudley Ward), paints a vivid of that event: 'At 1a.m. on the 16th orders were given that the Welsh Guards would attack...The Hour was to be 9.30a.m. But local conditions were so bad they could not be surmounted so easily. Orders arrived in pulp, a solid sheet of rain fell all night, and communication was fearful. Casualties were heavy... The advance had to be made in sectional rushes, and the assaulting troops got into standing crops, where they lost direction... There were some good men who fell that day... It was hard and confused fighting... The total casualties were 144.' Both the South Wales Echo and the Caerphilly Journal reported his death in October 1916. The South Wales Echo article reads: 'SUPERINTENDENT GILL'S SON. Although only 22 years of age, the late Private gill (news of whose death has just been received by his father, Ex-Police Superintendent Gill, of Caerphilly, formerly of Treharris) underwent more than his share of strange experiences. Joining with a number of friends from the Ocean Colliery, Treharris, all of whom have been killed, he went to France 12 months ago. He took part in the notable charge of the Welsh Guards at Hill 70. Later he was frostbitten and "gassed" three times. Whilst crossing on the way home on the hospital ship Anglia the ship struck a mine. Pte. Gill "jumped for it," ill as he was, and was picked up by a sailor. After being at Leicester for a short time he ws transferred to the Welsh Metropolitan Hospital, Whitchurch, where his brother, the Rev. W.E. Gill (now curate of Bargoed), held a curacy. He later rejoined his regiment full of spirit, and went again to France. He has a brother, Gunner Geo. Gill, in Salonika down with dysentery. A brother-in-law, Sergeant Burke (son of Superintendent Burke, of the Cardiff City Police), is also fighting in France.' Albert Gill's body, along with another Welsh Guardsman from Caerphilly, Lance Corporal Henry Jervis, was never found. Their names are recorded on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

Comments (1)

Selena's profile picture
Great photo Can you please add it to Albert's IWM life story? https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/lifestory/1760534

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