Information about birth

Year of birth:
1897
Place of birth:
Stratford, Victoria, Australia

General information

Last known residence:
Stratford, Victoria, Australia
Profession:
Butcher
Religion:
Church of England

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
1690
Enlistment date:
29/01/1916
Enlistment place:
Sale, Victoria, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 5th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
20/09/1917
Place of death:
Black Watch Corner, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
20

Memorial

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Panel: Bay 7 stone R

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 4

#1 Place of birth
#2 Last known residence
#3 Enlistment place
#4 ‘Place of death’

My story

Private Gilbert Holt worked as butcher in the community of Stratford, Victoria when he enlisted with the 5th Battalion AIF, part of the First Australian Division, 2nd Brigade, on 29 January 1916.
During the bitterly cold winter of 1916 Gilbert was sent to hospital with trench feet and was evacuated to England. Shortly after rejoining the 5th Battalion, he suffered shrapnel wounds to the face on the 23 February 1917.
A few weeks later, his older brother Thomas Mitchell, arrived in England and also joined the 5th Battalion in the field during April 1917. From then on the two brothers served together and went into an attack together in Belgium on the 20th September 1917.

That day the 1st Australian Division attacked at 05.40 a.m. in the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20-25 September 1917) part of the Battle of Passchendaele.
The 6th Battalion attacked with the 5th Battalion in support and crossed Glencorse Wood with little difficulty.
The attack was taken over by the 5th Battalion. The pillboxes on their front mostly surrendered without a shot being fired, but they outflanked a blockhouse which was causing the 23rd Division some difficulty, and then went on to the Blue Line, taking Verbeeck Farm on the way. Consolidation began, but they were fired on from Black Watch Corner. A party was sent out to take the pillbox, and did so with little difficulty.

Up to six eye witnesses stated that one of the brothers was wounded, generally agreed to be Thomas Holt. Gilbert was assisting stretcher bearers to carry his brother back to a dressing station when the whole party was hit by another artillery shell, instantly killing both brothers.
Neither of the Holt boys has a known grave.

Private Gilbert Holt, 20 years of age is remembered on the Ypres Menin Gate Memorial, bay 7 stone R.

Connection to other soldiers 1

Files 1

Maps View

Sources 8

"Passchendaele, The Day-by-Day Account",McCarthy C., Arms&ArmourPress, London, 1995, page 80-81"
Sources used
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/924287/gilbert-holt/
Sources used
Service Record
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=5822939
Sources used
The AIF Project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=141872
Sources used
The Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search/people?people_preferred_name=Holt&people_service_number=1690&people_unit=
Sources used
The Long Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/1st-australian-division/
Sources used
War Diary 2nd Brigade
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1346442
Sources used
War Diary 5th Battalion
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1342302
Sources used