Thomas Richard 'Dick' Gilbert came to Chelmsford from the Midlands between the wars and worked for the printer s Driver & Sons. He was a Territorial soldier before the outbreak of the war and in 1940 went to fight in north Africa. He was wounded at Tobruk and died afterwards in an Egyptian hospital. His mother lived in Victoria Road, Chelmsford.
Dick was born in Rugby, Warwickshire in 1916, the youngest son of John Thomas Gilbert (born in 1884) and Edith Hannah Gilbert (nee Robinson) (1887-1979). His parents had married in Bilton, Warwickshire on 1st June 1910. Dick's siblings included John Edward Gilbert (1911-1966), Phyllis Madeleine Gilbert (1913-2005), and Evelyn Elsie Gilbert (1914-1983).
Dick s father served as Serjeant 2914 in the 2nd/7th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He died on 1st August 1916 and today lies in Bilton (St. Mary) Churchyard in Warwickshire.
In 1927 Dick's mother, married widower Ernest Henry Saltmarsh (1877-1952) in Warwickshire. The couple set up home at 76 Victoria Road in Chelmsford.
Prior to the Second World War Dick worked for the Chelmsford printers Messrs A. Driver & Sons. He was with the Essex Yeomanry at the outbreak of the war and went abroad early in 1940 where he served as Bombardier 897370 in 104th (The Essex Yeomanry) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. He saw much fighting in the offensive in Libya, and the subsequent evacuation of forward areas to Tobruk.
Thomas Richard GILBERT, Bombardier, 104th (The Essex Yeomanry) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
Died in Egypt. Aged 25
On 25th October 1941 Dick died in an Egyptian hospital in Alexandria from wounds received at Tobruk. He was aged 25 and single. At the time of his death Dick's mother was living at 76 Victoria Road in Chelmsford.
Today Dick lies in grave 2. F. 8 at Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt.
Dick s brother, Company Quarter Master John Edward Gilbert of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, was a prisoner captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in 1942.