Second Lieutenant, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, 9th Battalion
Died age 20 on 24 August 1918
CWGC: “Only son of Frederick and Harriet Eliza Gillard, of 25 Studley Road, Clapham, London.”
Remembered Vis-en-Artois Memorial, France
Information from the 1911 census
The Gillard family lived at 48 Akerman Road where they occupied 5 rooms. Frederick Gillard, 41, was a lithographic printer, born in Blackfriars, London. Harriet Gillard (née Roberts), 34, was also from Blackfriars. Frederick Gillard, 12, their only son, was born in Kennington, as were their 3 daughters:
Amy Gillard, 10
Rose Gillard, 9
Florence Gillard, 7
There was a boarder, Christopher Wright, a single grocer’s assistant from Bermondsey, south-east London.
The obituary in The Times of 5 September 1918 reads:
SECOND LIEUTENANT F. GILLARD, K.O.Y.L.I. [King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry], was killed on August 23, aged 20. He was the only son of Mr. and Mrs Gillard of 25, Studley-road, Clapham. He enlisted at the age of 18 in the Inns of Court O.T.C. [Officers Training Corps], and was given a commission seven months later. He was through some heavy fighting the latter part of last year, and returned home on leave last July, but rejoined his regiment on August 10. His colonel writes:- “The battalion had made a successful attack, and we were holding a front-line position within about 40 yards of the enemy. Your boy was was in charge of a half-company, and was holding absolutely the foremost position, and holding it very stoutly, too. The enemy counter-attacked very heavily, and it was greatly owing to the fine fight put up by your son’s platoon that we were able to beat him off with heavy casualties. Unfortunately, after the counter-attack had been beaten off, your boy was reorganizing his platoon when a stray bullet struck him in the head, killing him instantly. I need hardly say that your boy was a great favourite with the platoon, and was liked by everybody, officers and men alike. He will be greatly missed, and I only hope that he was doing his duty splendidly when he was killed will prove a little consolation to you for your loss.” Lieutenant Gillard was a member of the staff of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company (Limited).
With thanks for additional information and images to Gwynn Jenkins, who came across the portrait and the framed obituary in the attic of her house in Forthbridge Road, Clapham. Gwynn says: ‘He has pride of place in my house and am happy for him to be included in your website for more to see and understand the tragic loss of such gallant young men – he’s a daily reminder of what sacrifice really means.’