Pte. 18/1623, West Yorkshire Regiment, Prince of Wales Own. 18th Battalion then 15/17th Battalion.

1884: Gilbert was the eldest of seven children born to George and Sarah Fawcett in Pontefract. They had one other boy named Albert and five girls; Maggie, Maria, Mary, Lily-Ann and Hannah – all born later than 1884.

Seven years after Gilbert was born in 1891, the Fawcetts were listed on the census as living in Leeds at 12 Brewery Yard, Hunslet and in 1901 at 30 Berwick Street. However, in 1911, Gilbert was listed as living at Raikes Lane, East Bierley nr. Bradford.

He married Gertrude Bradley in June 1908, thereby accounting for his move and the fact that in the 1911 census, his mother-in-law was also listed in the house. At this point, before the war, he was a labourer in a cotton mill. Sadly, in March of 1911, his wife died, possibly due to complications from when their son Clifford was born six months earlier.

As he lived in Bradford at the time he joined the army (though no exact date is known as his service record has not survived), Gilbert was initially in the Bradford Pals. His army number corresponds to the 18th Battalion, 2nd Bradford Pals and it is relatively low, suggesting he could have joined in 1915. Also in 1915, Gilbert married for a second time – Mary A Gallagher to whom he was betrothed in Bradford.

The Bradford Pals were disbanded on the 15th of February 1918, thereby perhaps accounting for his move to the Leeds Pals, where he was a member of A Company, No. 4 Platoon, No 2 Section. However, he only survived three more months as on the:

7th May 1918: Gilbert died of his wounds (though where and how he was wounded is not known).

He was buried at the Cabaret-Rouge, British Cemetery at Souches, Pas-de-Calais. (Source: CWGC)

Like many other men who served with the British Army in World War One, Gilbert was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Researcher: Peter Taylor

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