Other names: Gilbert
Locations in this story: Motcombe, Shaftesbury, DorsetKilburn, LondonNorth Weald Bassett, EssexCrystal Palace, LondonWillesden, Middlesex
Story: Gilbert Coward was born in Motcombe, Shaftesbury, Dorset, on 13 May 1882 and baptised there on 2 Jul 1882 the son of William Coward and Frances Coward (nee Butt). He lived all his early life in Church Row, Motcombe, until by 1911 he had moved to Kilburn, London, where he was boarding out and working as an Upholsterer. He married Lizzie Stevens Sortwell on 3 Jun 1911 in North Weald Bassett, Essex. He enlisted on 9 Jan 1915 and joined the London Regiment as a Private (Service No. 8102) and was attached to the 2nd Battalion of the West Surrey Regiment. He was later transferred to the Royal Defence Corps (Service No. 65879) and again to the Royal Flying Corps (Service No. 402376) on 1 Feb 1917 (Royal Air Force as from 1 Apr 1918) as an Air Mechanic Class 2. He employed his skills as an Upholsterer at a base near Crystal Palace, London. He was eventually discharged on 26 Apr 1919 and would have qualified for the Victory and British War Medals though no record has been found. By the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 16 Tennyson Road, Kilburn, London, still working as an Upholsterer. His death was recorded at the Willesden, Middlesex, Registry on 8 Feb 1948.