Company Sergeant Major Harry Gill 15/374

Company Sergeant Major Harry Gill

Born. Leeds, 1879.
Died. France, 3rd July 1916.

Harry Gill was the nephew of Mr Arthur Gill, the well-known Labour leader. When he was old enough, he enlisted, as a Private in 1st Volunteer Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, and served with them in the South African campaign.

Whilst in South Africa, in 1900, on his 21st birthday, Harry nearly drowned in the River Veal, he was saved from drowning by Pte Coultate of the Leeds Rifles.

He eventually gained the rank of Colour Sgt, and after the war entered the 8th battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment (Leeds Rifles) as Colour Sgt, in 1909 Col/Sgt Harry Gill was awarded the “Territorial Efficiency Medal” (long service medal). He served with the Leeds Rifles for a total of 14 years.

In September 1914, Harry, who by this time was married to Mary Elizabeth Gill, and the Father of 5 children, was working as an electrical engineer at the Slate & Marble works in Leeds, he enlisted into the “Leeds Pals” and was posted to “C” Company as Company Sgt Major.

He served with the “Pals” at Colsterdale, Egypt and France.

On the 6th March 1916, whilst the “Pals” were on board “H.M.T. Ascania” bound for France, after their tour in Egypt, C.S.M Gill formed part of the entertainment party known as the Owls who were giving a show onboard ship, he performed a humorous song entitled “Armley Gaol”.

On the 1st July “C” Company were the first over the top. C.S.M. Harry Gill went with them, and was wounded early on in the advance, he was rescued and taken to the 19th Casualty Clearing Station, just outside the village of Doullens where he died of his wounds on the 3rd of July,

He his buried in the Doullens Communal Cemetery.

At the time of his death, his wife and family were living at 43, Warrender Street, Leeds.

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