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Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets Local Heroes - Your streets were their streets

The names of 197 local men who lost their lives in World War I are
inscribed on the bells of the Memorial Community Church in Plaistow. They are our local heroes

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Herbert James Gilbert

2nd Lieutenant
Rifle Brigade

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Unknown - Unknown
Unknown - 22 March 1918
Killed in action
Served in
Rifle Brigade
British War Medal & Victory Medal, Mentioned in Dispatches
56A Rathbone Street, Canning Town

Herbert James' story

The bell says J H Gilbert.

Entered France on 26 June 1916.

On 22 March 1918 the 16th Battalion, in which Herbert Gilbert served, was holding a series of trenches east of the village of Saulcourt (Somme).  The Division in front began to withdraw and the Battalion was ordered to cover its retirement.  By early afternoon the Battalion was virtually surrounded by the enemy but no orders were received to withdraw.  At 4.30 pm the Germans opened an intense bombardment which inflicted very heavy casualties. At 5 pm the order was finally received to withdraw.  On completion of the withdrawal, when the  troops were  reorganized and mustered it was found that only 54 men had survived.

Also commemorated on the Memorial at Stratford School, Upton Lane.


Service Number
Pozieres Memorial, France
No photos found for Herbert James Gilbert

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One comment

  1. John Kirby
    June 27, 2015
    2:11 pm

    My father was with the 16th Rifle Brigade and was taken prisoner at Saulcourt so I would say that he knew Herbert Gilbert. My father is no longer with us and didn’t say much about the war other than they were surrounded and overrun by the Germans. It is only this year (2015) that I have managed to get some records from the International Red Cross.

(will not be published)

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