Gilbert Harold King Salter

Place of Birth                Millbrook, Southampton
Service number           54450/650090
Rank                                 Private
Regiment                        Gloucestershire
Battalion                        Labour Corps
Died                                  March 2nd 1919
Death Location            Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire

 

Family Life Before The War
Gilbert was born in 1878 in Millbrook, South Stoneham District of Southampton and when he was young  worked as a labourer with the Ordnance Survey, in 1911 he was living at 15 Burton Road.Fitzhugh Southampton.

His father was James Salter (1841) a retired Naval Commander Boatman who came from Kentisbeer Devon and following his retirement he became a verger at St.Marks Church Southampton, his mother was Elizabeth (1841) born in Kembury Devon. He had 3 sisters Alicea (1875), Alma (1875) and Daisy May(1884) and 1 brother Fred R.N(1877).

Alicea became Mrs Randall by marriage.

Gilbert  also worked as a Printer Compositer before joining war service.

Military Service
Gilbert joined the Gloucestershire Regiment – Labour Corps, where he served as a Private.

He completed his war service and died of bronchitis at Lee on Solent on 2nd March 1919 age 41 years with his sister Alicea by his side.

The 14th (West of England) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment was started in Bristol on the 22nd April 1915 by the Citizens Recruiting Committee as a “Bantam Battalion”, for troops under normal regulation minimum height of 5ft 3 inches.Troops trained close to home and on 23rd June the Battalion was adopted by the War Office and joined the 105th Brigade, 35th at Masham North Yorkshire. The Division moved in August 1915 to Salisbury Plain for final training. In late 1915 an order to go to Egypt was cancelled and they proceeded to France where they landed at Le Havre on 30th January 1916 and went to St.Omer.

They saw action in the Battles of The Somme at Bazentin Ridge, Arrow Head Copse, Maltz Horn Farm and Falfemont Farm. New drafts of men replaced men who died on The Somme but were not of the same physical standard as the original Bantams, being small statured men from the towns rather than the miners and farm workers who had joined up in 1915. A medical inspection was carried out and 1439 men were transferred to the Labour Corps.

Their places being taken by men transferred from the disbanded yeomanry regiments, who underwent a quick training course in infantry methods at a Divisional depot set up specifically for that purpose. In 1917 they saw action in the Pursuit to the Hindenburg Line, at Houthulst Forest and The Second Battle of Passchendaele. In early 1918 the army reorganised and on February 11th 1918 they were disbanded in France with troops transferring to a variety of units including the 13th Gloucesters.

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