John Heber Leopold Gilbert

Informatie over geboorte


Algemene Informatie


Informatie legerdienst

Australian Imperial Force
Service nummer:
Dienstneming datum:
Dienstneming plaats:
Ballarat, Victoria, Australië
 —  Australian Infantry, 37th Bn.  (Laatst gekende eenheid)

Informatie over overlijden

Datum van overlijden:
Plaats van overlijden:
No. 3 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, Nine Elms, Poperinge, België
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


Nine Elms British Cemetery
Plot: 3
Rij: D
Graf: 13

Onderscheidingen en medailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points of interest 2

#1 Dienstneming plaats
#2 Plaats van overlijden (bij benadering)

Mijn verhaal

Private John Heber Leopold Gilbert served as a private in the 37th Battalion Australian Infantry part of the 10th Australian Brigade of the 3rd Australian Division. On the 28th of September 1917 the 37th Battalion Australian Infantry completed its four days March from Bléquin, France, to Flanders. The Battalion was brought to Ypres to participate in the Third Battle of Ypres.

The Battalion prepared itself for the Battle of Broodseinde and moved to their bivouacs near the front on the 2nd of October. The men of the Battalion were armed and equipped and left their bivouacs for the assembly area in the evening of the 3rd of October.

At 1.20 a.m. the Battalion was formed up just North of what used to be the Zonnebeke village center. They would have to advance alongside the Ypres-Roulers railway line. The men occupied their positions in the shell holes at the assembly area, where they awaited Zero hour. At 5.30 a.m. the German artillery put down a barrage on the assembly lines. The German shelling was part of a preliminary barrage before an attack. The Germans had chosen the same day to advance, as they wanted to recapture their recently lost lines. They were unaware of the Australian troops right in front of them hence the German barrage was rather ineffective and the Australians suffered few casualties.

At 6 a.m. the allied barrage came crashing down 200 yards in front of the assembled troops. The unforgiving barrage creeped forward at 100 yards each three minutes. The men advanced behind this curtain of shell fire, which had completely surprised the assembled Germans. The Germans had planned their attack for 6.15 a.m. and were completely caught off balance. The advancing troops lost few casualties, as much of the German shells fell behind them. The German machine guns started firing at the attacking troops, but most of them were soon silenced by the creeping barrage.

The assembled German troops were completely overwhelmed by the heavy barrage. The ones who survived the shelling were killed by the Australian bayonets or were taken prisoners. The Germans in the pill-boxes, who were expecting an attack of their one were rushed by the Australians. Many Germans chose to surrender. When one German pill-box offered strong resistance to the men of the 37th Battalion, they took it out with hand grenades and bayonets.

When the leading companies reached their first objective, some 400 Germans had been taken prisoner and a total of eight pill-boxes and dug-outs were captured. All objectives had been captured at 7.15 a.m., only one hour and fifteen minutes after the Battalion had started the attack. During the day the Battalion consolidated the captured positions and started reorganizing.

Although the attack had been a success, the 37th Battalion had suffered a total of 208 casualties. Seven officers were wounded. Forty-seven other ranks were killed in action, two men went missing and 152 other ranks were wounded. Private John Heber Leopold Gilbert was wounded during the attack. He was hit by a shell or machinegun fire at about 6.15 a.m. on Broodseinde Ridge. He was severely wounded in the right thigh and buttock. A comrade, Sergeant F.R. Blake, lifted him in a shell hole. Private John Heber Leopold Gilbert was later recovered by stretcher-bearers and was evacuated. He died of his wounds on the following day, either in the 3rd Australian or 44th Australian Casualty Clearing Stations, West of the town of Poperinge. He was buried at the adjacent Nine Elms British Cemetery.

Bestanden 1

Bronnen 3

37th Australian Infantry, (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/54/16).
Gebruikte bronnen
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920 (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455, GILBERT J H L).
Gebruikte bronnen
McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 99.
Gebruikte bronnen

Meer informatie 4