Gilbert Edward Davies, Private 2781, 1/7th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Died of wounds 1st December 1915 in Gallipoli, Turkey
Gilbert Edward Davies was born on 29th November 1891 and baptised on 31st January 1892 at St Philip’s Church, Chorley (Alderley Edge), the eldest son of Mary Ann and John Davies, a joiner of 21 Chapel Street, Alderley Edge. In 1901, nine year old Gilbert was living in Chapel Street with his parents and siblings Edith (13), Mary (12), Albert (6), Ethel (3) and Harold (1). Ten years later the family was at the same address and also included Gladys (9) and Hilda (7).
Gilbert was educated at Alderley Edge Primary School and was a member of the Church Lads’ Brigade, belonged to the St Philips Sunday School Band (seated, 2nd from left, in photo below) and was a keen footballer.
When Gilbert left school on 1st December 1905 he found work as an apprentice joiner for Mr Massey.
Towards the end of 1912, Gilbert married Edith Lomas; their daughter, Eileen, was born in 1914.
Gilbert joined the 7th Cheshire Regiment (Territorial Army) in 1911 and was either recalled to the army or volunteered in October 1914. Following a period of training in the south of England, the 7th Cheshires, as part of 159th Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, received orders to equip for service in an undisclosed location in the Mediterranean. In July 1915 they sailed from Devonport to Alexandria in Egypt, then on to the island of Lemnos on the 4th August.
On the evening of 8th August, the Battalion arrived off the coast of Gallipoli and the following day landed at “C” Beach, Suvla Bay. The Batallion was involved in heavy fighting in Gallipoli for several months.
It is not known when Gilbert was injured, but he died of his wounds at the 2nd Welsh Field Ambulance Station on Gallipoli on 1st December 1915, aged 24.
Gilbert’s son, also named Gilbert Edward, was born in early 1916, some two and a half months after his death.
Private Gilbert Davies has no known grave and is commemorated on panel ref. 75 to 77 of the Helles Memorial, Turkey. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Gilbert Davies, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.
Locally, Private Gilbert Davies is commemorated on the Alderley Edge war memorial.
Brother of Albert Vincent Davies, who also served with the 7th Cheshire Regiment and killed in action at the Battle of Gaza on 26 March 1917.
Thanks to Esme, granddaughter of Gilbert Davies, for her photographs and assistance in compiling this information.