Private/Sergeant Bernard Gill 15/1238

Private/Sergeant Bernard Gill
15/1238

Born. Leeds, 1898.
Died of wounds, France 25/8/1918.

Bernard Gill was one of three children born to john & Harriett Gill of Leeds, he was their only son. In 1915 aged 17 he left his job at Ingleby & Co, engineers of Elland Road and travelled to Colsterdale to enlist, his home address at this time was 11, Beeston Road, Leeds.

He was posted as a private to B Company, 7 platoon, section 5, his platoon commanding officer being Lt Roy Balfour Hodgson Rayner. On Monday 22nd May 1916, B company, 7 platoon, went into no-mans land as a company party, near Euston camp Dump.

Bernard wrote in his diary:

"Set off for wiring at 7.30pm. got coils of wire and took equipment off. took bandolier, gas helmet and rifle only. Everything quiet. no firing from the enemy at all as all first party got out ! Heard a rifle a few bombs burst on "A" company, then suddenly was plastered out in bottom of trench... gradually got covered with dirt and then whole sandbags. Heard chap behind me yell out that his arm was off! He crawled over us and left trenches. things quietened down in about 40 minutes so worked myself loose and got up. Got hold of my rifle with fixed bayonet and manned parapet ready for attack. Opened up rapid machine gun fire!"

It was during this engagement that first gallantry awards were won by the battalion, Lt Valentine O'land and Cpl 15/204 Joseph Clarke were awarded the, the Military Cross and Military Medal Respectively.

On the 4th May 1917, Bernard, now an acting Corporal, was wounded by a gunshot to the right hip during an attack on the enemy trenches at Gavrelle. He was admitted to the 24th General Hospital, at Etaples. After several months of treatment he rejoined the pals as a sergeant and continued to serve with them until the night of the 24th March 1918, when the battalion was near the town of St Leger. Bernard was once again wounded this time be enemy shelling and evacuated to the 43rd Casulaty Clearing Station, where he died of his wounds the following day. His family were notified of his death on the 3rd April 1918. (9 days later)

Sgt Bernard Gill is buried in the Bac-Du-Sud, Military Cemetery, France.

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