war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War I



Surnames G

Frederick Gee,courtesy Dover ExpressGee, F. W. T.
Frederick William Thomas Gee, K/838, was a Stoker 1st Class in the Royal Navy. He lost his life when HMS Hawke was torpedoed by U-9 on 15 October 1914.  U-9 was also responsible for the loss of the "Live Bait Squadron". Frederick is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Panel 5

He was the son of Mr Charles Frederick Gee and his wife Clara née Youden. They had married in 1884 and Frederick was their first child born in 1885. In 1901 the family were living at 5 Montrose Terrace, Buckland, with Mr Gee working as a builders' foreman. He had been previously a carpenter but in 1889 had found it difficult to manage financially; fortunately in 1903 a legacy of £556 16s 7d from his father enabled him to resolve the situation. In that year Mr Gee was at 16 De Burgh Street and at Tower Hamlets Road. At home in 1901 were Clara, his wife, with their children Frederick, then 16, a builder's apprentice, Frank, 14, a chemists' errand boy, Ethel, 12, Alfred, 6, and Stephen 4. All the family had been born in Dover except Alfred, who was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Stephen, who was born in Chorley, Lancashire. At home there too was Mary, Clara's widowed mother, who had been born in Ashley, Kent.

Sadly, Mrs Gee died in 1906 at the age of 47. Mr Gee remarried in 1908 to Marian Alice Moore. They in 1911 were at the Millhouse, Whitfield. Frank was still at home, working as a grocery assistant, and at home too was Charles Stephen, a stationer's newsboy.

Frederick worked as a builder's apprentice and then as a shoesmith before he joined the Royal Navy in 1908 claiming then to have been born on 23 August 1887 rather than in 1885 which was his actual birth year.  He was said deliberately not to have learnt to swim so that if he were to be cast in the water his death by drowning would be quicker

with thanks to Ana Squire

Gilbertson, G.   
George Gilberston, 13/1063, was in the 13th battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment. He died on 18 July 1915 at the age of 46. Stationed at Newhall Camp he is buried in Barnsley Cemetery, being a native of the town. Grave  L 197

Sergeant Gilbertson sadly cut his throat with his razor at around 0850 during a fit of depression attributed to his state of health, and to the fact that he had suffered sunstroke some years before during the Boer War. He had undergone a great deal of foreign service, in India where he had contracted malaria, South Africa and Malta, and had served 21 years in the Army in total having joined it in 1887. He was pensioned as Sergeant Major

Sergeant Gilbertson volunteered on the outbreak of the Great War and was considered to have rendered excellent service and to be held in high esteem. He was known to enjoy a drink however and since his sunstroke was easily affected by alcohol and could become melancholy and depressed. Nevertheless his wife of 18 years Ellen Gilbertson maintained he had recently enjoyed a holiday with her and had been in good health. However his health had been of some concern in the two weeks prior to his death and he had been treated in hospital

He was the son of Thomas and Anne Gilbertson. His wife lived at 11 Norman Street, Dover

information from report in collection of Joyce Banks

F Gilham, courtesy Dover ExpressGilham, F.  
Frederick Gilham, also known as Goldsack, was born at St Margaret's on 9 May 1894 and christened at St Mary's on 13 July that year. He was the son of Maria Goldsack from 10 Priory Street.

In 1886 Maria married William Gilham, and in 1891 the family were living at 23 Lower Road, River, Dover. This was his second marriage as his first wife, Emily, had died in 1885. Mr Gilham, born in Ramsgate, was in 1891 working as a grocer's carman, and with them at home were Mr Gilham's children Lucy, 10, Charles, 9, and Emily, 8. Frederick, then 6, was also there, and a new son, William, 1. A further son, Frank, was born in 1893.

On 21 January 1901 Frederick attested and entered the 3rd battalion of The Buffs as no 6193. He was then aged 17 years and ten months and working as a labourer for a carrier in Dover. He was described as five feet six inches tall, with blue eyes and brown hair, and was tattooed with the image of a woman. His widowed mother was that year working as a charwoman, living at 9 Union Row with sons William and Frank.

In 1911 Frederick was in Singapore, at the Tangin Barracks. He was then a Private in the 2nd battalion of The Buffs. In 1915 he married Emily Finn, in Dover. Sadly Frederick was killed that same year, on 28 September. He was then serving as L/6559, a Private in the 2nd battalion of The Buffs after enlisting in Canterbury. He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, France, panel 15-19.

Notes: In 1905 Mrs Maria Gilham remarried, to Albert Phipps, a general labourer in 1911. In that year the family were living at 8 St James Street, Dover, with Maria's son Frank Gilham, then a shop assistant, and Edith Phipps, a daughter aged 8. They were still there in 1915. Mrs Emily Goldsack, Frederick's wife was also  living in the same street in 1915, at number 10. Mrs Maria Phipps may have died at the age of 82 on 31 August 1945, at the Merthyr Tydfil infirmary.

with thanks to Joyce Banks for the Goldsack/Gilham connection!

Gillman, W. H.   
by Joyce Banks
William Hobbs Gillman, 625003, was a Private in the 1/19th London Regiment. Aged 34 he died on Friday 14 February 1919 from pneumonia.  He is buried at St James, Dover. L G 13

He was the son of Richard Gillman and Emma, née Hobbs, and stepson of Mr Gillman's second wife Eliza from 65 Limekiln Street, Dover. In 1871 Richard and Emma Gillman were living at 3 Round Tower Lane, where Richard was a costermonger. By 1881 they had moved to Limekiln Street, with Richard working as a fishmonger. In 1891 they were at 1 Spring Place, and Richard was a labourer on the coal field. In 1901 Richard, by then a widower, was living at 1 Spring Passage and working as a railway coal porter. Ten years later he and his second wife Eliza were living at 28 Hawkesbury Street, and Richard, at the age of 62, was working as a coal porter on the SECR Railway. William by then was in Hampshire, working at the Barton Court Hotel, New Milton, as a stillroom man. There were ten children in the family, all born in Dover: Joseph, Susannah, Richard, Rose, Charles, Daisy, William, James, Nellie, and Emma. 

As the youngest brother of Mr Richard Gillman from 53 Odo Road, Dover, he was great-uncle to Keith Gillman, the grandson of Richard and Ellen Gillman.

photo and research Joyce Banks

William Golds, courtesy Dover ExpressGolds. W. A.   
William A. Golds, 18256, was a Sapper in the 9th Field Company of the Royal Engineers. He died on 14 December 1914 aged 26 at the Clearing Hospital Bailleul, France, after having been wounded by a shell the day before. He is buried at the Bailleul Communal Cemetery (Nord) France. A 27.  He is also commemorated on the Hougham Memorial.

He was the only son of Mr and Mrs W Golds from the Plough Inn, Church Hougham, Dover. His officer spoke highly of him when informing his widow that he had died 

The headstone below is at St Lawrence, Church Hougham

Sacred to the Memory
Rosa Caroline
The dearly beloved wife of
William Golds
Who passed away May 28 1917
Aged 59 years

Thy voice is now silent, thy heart is now cold,
Where thy smile and thy welcome oft met us of old,
We miss thee and mourn thee in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memory of joys that have been

Also of William Alfred Golds, R.E.
Only son of the above
Who died for his country December 14 1914
Aged 26 years.
Interred at Bailleul, France.
Duty called him he was there
To do his bit and take his share
His heart was good his spirit brave
And now he's resting in a hero's grave.

Also of William Golds
Who died March 11 1933
Aged 78 years

photo and transcription: thanks Joyce Banks

Mrs Golds was said to have succumbed to shock after a raid of 21 April, becoming seriously ill and dying a week later.

Grigsby, J. W.   
J W. Grigsby, 148874, was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. He survived fever three times during a period of two years and eight months in East Africa but finally succumbed to pneumonia on 9 December 1918 and is buried in the Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery, Tanzania. 7 J 4

Sapper Grigsby was named on the St James memorial having been an old school boy and choir boy at St James. ?When he left school he became a learner at Dover Post Office and then went to Chatham to become a sorter and telegraphist

His parents were Mr and Mrs J E Grigsby from 3 Eastbrook Place

Copyright 2006-16 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved