Lance Corporal Herbert Gilbey

12 July 1916
Lc-Cpl H Gilbey s/no 18707 1st Bn
buried Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery

The bulk of the 1st Battalion were 70/80 kilometres away when Herbert Gilbey died. Malaria was rife. Soldiers were sent back, often to the hospitals in and around Salonika, to recuperate before being sent back to the front line. But, weakened by the disease and the living conditions, many succumbed to malaria again and again. The Lembet Road cemetery contains many who died within those hospitals. It is probable that Lc-Cpl Gilbey was one of those.

Herbert Gilbey was born in Soham in the summer of 1885. Father William was a labourer and he and his wife Margaret lived in Soham for many years. Herbert married Rose Bullman on 16 October 1909 in Soham and they went on to have 2 children, Bert was born in 1910 and Cyril in 1912. In 1911 Herbert was a labourer on a farm and the family were living in Soham.

His Attestation papers show he signed up in December 1902, aged 18 years 2 month ( not if he was born in 1885). He served the normal 3 years, not without the occasional misdemeanour, and then was transferred to Reserves. He was mobilised in August 1914 but declared unfit for duty. Whatever that was, it may have been a contributing factor to his final demise.

Cross of Sacrifice marking Commonwealth section of Salonika ( Lembet Road) Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice marking Commonwealth section of Salonika (Lembet Road) Cemetery

Lc-Cpl H Gilbey

Lc-Cpl H Gilbey’s headstone