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BYKER

Gilbert, M.F., Pte., 1914-18 (1939)
Pauline Priano has submitted the following:-

Martin Frederick Gilbert, is listed in the 1911 census as one of 17 children of whom only 10 survived. This appears to be inaccurate, as in 1911, eleven of his siblings were alive, all of whom reached adulthood. Of his known siblings he was the 2nd born of 6 brothers and had 1 elder and 6 younger sisters. His father Thomas William Gilbert was born January 28th 1853 and baptised, February 19th at St Botolph without Bishopsgate, in London's east end. His family was living at Dove Court, Finsbury, London in 1861 where his father, Edward Gilbert, was a painter (house), by 1871 he had brought his family to the north east, settling at Bakerís Entry, Brewery Bank, Byker, a suburb of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland. Edward Snr and son Edward Jnr were employed as packers, Thomas (17) worked as a turner, his brother Martin (14) as an errand boy.

Thomas William Gilbert was married in the parish of All Saints, Newcastle, June 29th 1875 to Esther Maria Ryles, employed as a servant. Their daughter Margaret Thirza Gilbert was born in 1876, Edward Henry 1877, baptised April 4th, Martin Frederick 1879 and Elizabeth Jane in 1881 whilst they were living at 11, Byker Buildings. Thomas William supported his family employed as a potter. Over the next 10 years Ether gave birth to a further 5 children, Sarah Spoors 1882, Esther Maria, March 23rd 1883, Moses 1886, Dorothy Annie, August 18th 1888, and Thomasina 1890. As number 11 Byker Buildings was no longer large enough for their growing family, as it was above a shop, they had moved by 1891, next door to number 9, Thomasís employment was unchanged, he was now assisted in keeping the family by Edward Henry, employed as a grocer. Their son Charles Edward was born April 7th 1892, Thomas William in 1893, Ethel Maud 1894 who died within a few months and James Henry 1894. Esther Maria Gilbert nee Ryles died in 1902, aged 47 years, in 1911 widower Thomas William, listed in the census in error as married, was living in 4 rooms at 11, Byker Buildings and had taken over for his own account a grocers shop at 32, Gibson Street, assisted by Dora Annie (22) and Thomasina (20), Moses (24) was a shipyard labourer, Charles Edward (18) and Thomas William (17) were working as general labourers, also in the household was Martin Gilbert, grandson.

Martin Frederick Gilbert left the family home in 1905 when he was married at St. Silas Church, Byker, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, March 23rd, to Isabella Baker Wraith, born circe 1878. Their son Thomas William was born, August 21st 1905, they were living in 2 rooms at 10, Ouseburn Road, Byker, Newcastle, in 1911, where Martin was employed as a carter, also living with them was his wifeís niece Dora Wraith, born August 19th 1902, whom they later adopted.

December 11th 1915, at the age of 37 years 11 months he enlisted at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was sent to Army Reserve B until being mobilised, August 1st 1916, when he was posted to the 31st (Reserve) Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, at Barnard Castle, attached to the 20th Reserve Brigade, as Private 53471. They were posted to Hornsea in April 1916 and September 1st 1916 Private Gilbert was transferred to the 86th Training Reserve Battalion, 20th Brigade, with a change of service number TR5/64112.

November 25th 1916 he was transferred to the 17th (Service) Battalion) Yorkshire Regiment presumably destined to be sent overseas, however, was again transferred, February 12th 1917 to the Army Service Corps, 42 Corps, 530th Mechanical Transport Company as Driver 294691, at No. 2 Depot Woolwich. Having being diagnosed with synovitis (inflammation) of the right knee, March 23rd 1917, he received treatment until April 13th at the Tyne Garrison Detention Hospital, Osbourne Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Once discharged he rejoined his unit but was twice admitted to the same hospital again, June 15th-August 29th 1918 and November 27th-January 6th 1919, suffering from syphilis. January 6th he was placed under surveillance at Brighton Grove Military Hospital, Newcastle where he underwent blood tests to decide what treatment he should receive. February 3rd 1919 he was examined at Blyth and discharged from No.1 Dispersal Unit, Ripon, Yorkshire, March 18th 1919.

All the Gilbert brothers were eligible to serve during WW1, records have been found for Moses Ryles Gilbert Royal Artillery, Charles Edward Gilbert and James Henry Gilbert Northumberland Fusiliers, all survived the conflict, their eldest brother Private Edward Henry Gilbert Northumberland Fusiliers was killed in 1917.

Martin Frederick and his wife continued to live at 10, Ouseburn Road, Byker, where Isabella Baker Gilbert nee Wraith, died aged 61 years, during the 4th quarter (Oct/Nov/Dec) 1938, Martin Frederick Gilbert during the 1st quarter (Jan/Feb/Mar) 1939, aged 60 years, both registered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.

Their son Thomas William Gilbert married Mary Jane Asher, born March 28th 1910. In 1939 they were both employed by the London North Eastern Railway, Martin as a repairer at the carriage and wagon depot, his wife as a charwoman, living at 44, Fairless Street, Byker, Newcastle. Thomas William Gilbert of 87, Trewhitt Road, Heaton, died January 9th 1961, aged 55 years, Mary Jane Gilbert nee Asher aged 72 years in 1982, both registered at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland.

Adopted daughter Dora was known by her birth name of Wraith. Dora Gilbert Wraith was married in 1921 to Lord G. Smith. Further details unknown.

In Godís safe keeping. Rest In Peace.

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk