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  • Buried in Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France. (cwgc.org.uk)
Person Details
Surname GAVICAN, spelling after c. 1911 GAVAGAN. Albert Joseph was the son of John Patrick Gavican and his wife Maria (also Mary) née Collins. Albert's father John Gavican was born in Nottingham in the parish of St Mary in 1839. He served in the Militia (Royal Sherwood Foresters) from 24 November 1855 but was discharged on attesting in the 3rd Regiment of Foot (East Kent-The Buffs) on 11 January 1858. The majority of his service was spent in the UK but served in China for one year and the East Indies for 1 year 2 months. In 1861 he was stationed in Dover (Private) and in 1871 was attached to the Army Depot (staff) in the London Recruiting District as a sergeant in the 1st Bn 3rd Regiment of Foot. He was serving in Canterbury when he was granted a free discharge (own request), with pension, in August 1878. John then spent some years in Canterbury as a recruiting sergeant. Albert's mother Maria (Mary) Collins was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, in 1856. In 1861 she was living with her widowed mother Maria and four siblings in Salisbury. By 1871 she was a laundry maid living in Wilton, Wiltshire, in the household of Samuel Smith, a groom, and his family. John and Maria were married in 1873 (reg. J/F/M St George Hanover Square London) and they had twelve children of whom ten survived infancy. Eleven children have been traced on census and birth and baptism records: Catherine Blanche (Kate), b. Canterbury 9 January 1874 bap. Garrison Church Canterbury 8 February 1874; Rose Ellen b. Canterbury 13 August 1875 bap. Garrison Church 19 September 1875; Mary Frances b. Canterbury 1877 bap. Garrison Church 8 July 1877; Eliza Jane (Elizabeth) b. Canterbury 1879; John Thomas b. Canterbury 1881 (A/M/J) d. 1881 (A/M/J); Gertrude Beatrice b. Nottingham 1884; Edwin Phillip (Edward) b. 26 May 1887 bap. Nottingham St Patrick 3 July 1887; Albert Joseph b. Nottingham 1889; William Thomas b. Nottingham 1890; Thomas b. Nottingham 1894 and Percy b. Nottingham 1896. Their three daughters, Catherine Blanche, Rose Ellen and Mary Frances, who had been baptised in the Garrison Church, Canterbury, were baptised a second time at Nottingham St Patrick on 14 February 1884. In 1881, eight years after their marriage, John, a recruiting sergeant with the 'The Buffs', and Maria were living at 31 Military Road, Canterbury, with three of their four daughters: Rose, Mary and Eliza. The eldest child, Catherine, has not been traced on the 1881 census. A son, John Thomas, was born later that year but his death was recorded in the same quarter. The family had moved to Nottingham by 1884 when Gertrude Beatrice was born and in 1891 they were living at 208 Long Hedge Lane, Sneinton. John was a commissionaire and all eight of his surviving children were in the home on the night of the census: Kate (sic) a pupil teacher, Rose, Mary, Eliza, Gerty, Eddy, Albert and William. Thomas and Percy were born in 1894 and 1896 respectively. John and Maria were living at 5 Gordon Road, St Ann's, by 1901 when nine of their ten children were living at home: Kate (27), Mary (22) and Elizabeth (20) who were pupil teachers, Rose (24) a book folder/binder, Edwin (13) an errand boy, Albert (11), William (10) and Thomas (7) who were at school and the youngest child, Percy (4). Gertrude has not yet been traced on the 1901 Census. The family home was at 6 Palethorpe Avenue, Dale Street, Nottingham, when Albert attested in April 1908. John Gavican (sic) died in 1909 aged about 68. In 1911 John's widow was living at 38 Leighton Street, St Ann's, with four of her ten children; Mary, a school teacher, William and Thomas who were brewery clerks and Percy, a warehouse boy. The eldest son Edwin joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (9029 Private) in April 1907 on a 12 year engagement (7 years with the Colours, 5 years Army Reserve). He served as Edward Gavagan and in 1911 was recorded at Mandora Barracks, Stanhope Lines, Aldershot. Albert joined the 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters in April 1908 and in 1911 was serving in India. Edward (Edwin) married Mary Lydia Wood at Shakespeare Street Register Office, Nottingham, on 9 December 1912. Mary had had a son, Claude Wood, on 26 January 1909 whose name appeared on Edward's service record as his child. Edward served in France from 1914 and was probably taken prisoner in 1917 having been wounded in action. He was repatriated to England before the Armistice but not discharged from the army until February 1919. He and his wife later lived at 71 Woodborough Road, Nottingham. Albert Joseph nominated his mother and eight of his nine siblings as his legatees; he excluded his brother Edward (Edwin). The recipients were: Mother - Maria Gavagan Sisters - Mrs Kathleen Riley (?Catherine Blanche), Mrs Rose Barnett, Mary [Gavagan], Mrs Eliza Hall and Mrs Gertrude B Wilson Brothers - William, Thomas and Percy Maria Gavagan (sic) died on 6 March 1929 aged 75 and was interred in Nottingham General Cemetery.
Residence Nottingham, enlisted Nottingham 1908
16 Sep 1916
534350 - CWGC Website
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Albert Joseph Cavican served as GAVAGAN 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment) Albert Joseph attested on 21 April 1908 on a 12 year engagement (7 years with the Colours, 5 years Army Reserve). He served in India from 7 October 1909 to 2 October 1914 (4y 361d). His period of service in India was punctuated by several periods in hospital or sessions of long-term treatment. Albert returned to the UK with the battalion on 3 October 1914 and then served in France from 4 November 1914 where he spent some weeks in hospital in January 1915 suffering from rheumatic fever. In March that year, after receiving gun shot wounds to his left arm, Albert was transferred to the UK for treatment. He embarked for France on 3 August 1915 but reported sick for ten days in September 1915. This was followed by a further period in hospital from 25 December and he did not rejoin for duty until January 1916. On 24 January Albert was deprived of five days' pay for 'creating a disturbance and being drunk' then on 22 June the same year was awarded ten days' Field Punishment No. 1 for 'making an improper reply to a NCO on 21 June'. Albert Joseph was killed in action on 16 September 1916 and is buried in Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France (grave ref. VII.N.9). Albert's service record was noted that he was buried in the area of Albert, south-east of Ginchy (map reference partially illegible). The history of Guillemont Road Cemetery suggests that his grave may have been brought in after the Armistice (see below). CWGC - History of Guillemont Road Cemetery (extract): 'Guillemont was an important point in the German defences at the beginning of the Battle of the Somme in July 1916. It was taken by the 2nd Royal Scots Fusiliers on 30 July but the battalion was obliged to fall back, and it was again entered for a short time by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division on 8 August. On 18 August, the village was reached by the 2nd Division, and on 3 September (in the Battle of Guillemont) it was captured and cleared by the 20th (Light) and part of the 16th (Irish) Divisions. It was lost in March 1918 during the German advance, but retaken on 29 August by the 18th and 38th (Welsh) Divisions. The cemetery was begun by fighting units (mainly of the Guards Division) and field ambulances after the Battle of Guillemont, and was closed in March 1917, when it contained 121 burials. It was greatly increased after the Armistice when graves (almost all of July-September 1916) were brought in from the battlefields immediately surrounding the village and certain smaller cemeteries [cemeteries listed].' (www.cwgc.org)
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 28, 30 & 31 October 1916: Gavagan: Killed in action September 13th, 1916, Private Albert Joseph Gavagan, Sherwood Foresters, second eldest and dearly-beloved son of Maria Gavagan and the late Sergeant John Gavagan, late of 5, Gordon-road. Deeply mourned by his sorrowing mother, sisters, brothers, and relations.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 28 October 1916: Gavagan: Killed in action September 13th, 1916, Private Albert Joseph Gavagan, Sherwood Foresters, aged 25. Deeply mourned by his loving sister and brother, Rose and W Barnett, 54, Lamartine-street, Nottingham.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.c Nottingham Evening Post, 'In Memoriam', 15 September 1917: 'Gavagan. In loving memory of Pte Albert Gavagan Sherwood Foresters killed in action September 14th 1916. Never will be forgotten. - From his loving mother, sisters and brothers.' Albert's personal property comprising photographs, correspondence and three coins, was returned in April 1917 to his mother Maria Gavagan c/o Mrs Scott, Bazaar, Shrewton, Wiltshire. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 7 March 1929: ‘Gavagan. On the 6th inst., at 24 Edgar-rise, Maria Gavagan, after much suffering. RIP. Sorrowing sons and daughters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 8 & 9 March 1929: ‘Gavagan. On the 6th inst., at 24 Edgar-rise, Maria Gavagan, aged 75, after much suffering. RIP. Sorrowing sons and daughters. St Augustine’s RC Church, Monday, 12.15. Interment General, 1 o’clock.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Buried in Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France. (cwgc.org.uk)
    Albert Joseph Gavagan - Buried in Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France. (cwgc.org.uk)