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  • William Gilbourne's headstone in St James Churchyard Brinsley
Person Details
Greasley Nottinghamshire
He was the son of James a miner and Catherine Gilbourne, (née Hatton) who 12 children of who died in infancy. The surviving siblings were Samuel, Harry, Frank, Walter, Fanny, James, Robert, Ann, Martha and Kate. In 1911 the family lived at 25 Nerthergreen Eastwood.
He was a miner (hewer).
26 Jan 1920
2749824 - CWGC Website
Royal Garrison Artillery
The army service record relating to William is very confusing and gives various dates of enlistment, the first being that he enlisted in 1914 and served for 47 days with the Northumberland Fusiliers before being discharged on 30th October 1914 being medically unit. He then appears to have enlisted in Derby on 24th June 1918, giving his age as 33 years and 127 days, stating he was a miner and lived at 23 Nethergreen, Eastwood, his next of kin being his mother of the same address. He went to France where he disembarked on 6th November 1918 joining the British Expeditionary Force. On 22nd December he was at Dover and because of his previous occupation of miner was discharged to the army reserve on 20th January 1919. It would then appear that he re-enlisted on 17th July 1919 at Bury St Edmunds. However on 26th January the following year he was found drowned at Vauxhall Quay, Plymouth, and his body was returned home to his mother and he was buried in St James churchyard at Brinsley.
William was serving in the 3rd Depot, Royal Garrison Artillery, when he was found drowned at Plymouth. The discovery of the body was announced in the 'Stop Press' of the Western Evening Herald on Monday January 26 1920: 'The body of a sailor (sic) which had been found floating was landed at Vauxhall Quay this afternoon. Papers bore the name of William Thomas Gilbourne, No. 3 Depot, the Citadel.' Almost identical accounts of the inquest are given in the Western Evening Herald of Wednesday January 28, 1920 and the Western Independent of Feb 1, 1920. The latter says: Mysterious Drowning Case A verdict of 'Found Drowned' was returned on Wednesday on William Thomas Gilbourne, the R.G.A. Gunner who was found in Sefton Pool. The body was identified by Bombardier Warne, who stated the deceased bore an excellent character, and was of a quiet turn of mind. Gunner Young saw Gilbourne on Sunday evening, and stated he was quite well and cheerful then. William Stevens gave evidence of finding the body, and Dr. McNair stated that the body bore no marks of violence, and there was nothing to show how deceased got into the water. His brother Walter Gilbourne also served in the Great War in the 1/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters and was killed on 16th July 1916.
Remembered on


  • William Gilbourne's headstone in St James Churchyard Brinsley
    Courtesy of Peter Gillings - William Gilbourne's headstone in St James Churchyard Brinsley