Gilbert Stuart Holbech

Date of birth: 1891
Place of birth: Shirley, Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy Reserve
Vessel: HMS Syria
Rank / Service No: Sub Lieutenant
Died: 25 August 1916, aged 25 years
Buried: Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery


Gilbert was the second of 4 siblings born to Horatio and Alice Jane Holbech (nee Keefe), who married in Cardiff in 1885.


Horatio had been born in Southampton in 1846. He died in somewhat mysterious circumstances, in Calcutta, on 18 June 1900.

Interestingly he left the not inconsiderable sum of £4099 12s 6d to his brother Martin James (who lived with their sister at 59 Waterloo Road)….it is not known why he did not leave this money to his wife.


Alice was born in Cardiff in 1867, 21 years younger than Horatio. She passed away in Salisbury in 1949.

She left £64 18s 6d to her son Wilfred.


The family lived at 89 Paynes Road, Freemantle and latterly at 43 Bugle Street in the city centre.



Horatio   b. 3 April 1887 Southampton   d. 19 August 1927 London   Horatio was last seen alive on 18 August…his body was fished out of the Thames on 23 August.

He left £787 7s to his wife Gertrude Florence (nee Hughes), who had married in Southampton in 1920.

Gilbert Stuart 

Alice Linda   b. 1894 Shirley   d. 1894 Shirley (3 months old)

Wilfred   b. 1900 Shirley   d. ?? (alive in 1949).



Gilbert had joined Syria on 8 March 1915. It must be presumed that he had done one tour of duty with the vessel before becoming ill.


Gilbert died in Haslar Naval Hospital, of an abcess of the lung (a bacterial infection). He left all of his money (£95 13s 9d) to one Edith Laura Beaton.

Edith must have been Gilbert’s girlfriend (if not fiancée) because she was living at 43 Bugle Street at the time of his death.


Edith was born in Southampton in 1892 and married Thomas H. Mitchell in 1921; she passed away in Barnet in 1970.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 30th September 2016


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