Robin Cottage in Kingsbury Episcopi

Eli Gillett


Eli Gillett as a boy | Kingsbury Time Travellers | Photo of Local Soldier WW1 Robin Cottage in Kingsbury Episcopi

Rank, service number and regiment

Private 320851 12th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.

Enlisted

Yeovil

Home address

Probably Robin Cottage, K.E. His wife’s sister, Kitty Eves (nee Harvey) ran the post office from Robin Cottage.

Date of death

17 August 1918

Age of death

38 years

Circumstances of death

The overall strategy for the Allies in August 1918 was to engage in a series of limited attacks in quick succession, aimed at liberating vital railway supply lines. The Germans had suffered heavy casualties during their ambitious spring offensive in 1918
‘Kaiserschlact’, and its army was suffering from low morale and exhaustion. Nevertheless, whilst some its commanders believed the tide had turned in favour of the Allies, Ludendorff the German Commander-in-Chief refused to accept this. The 12th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment was engaged around Morebecque and Hazebrouck northern France, trying to capture German trenches and Eli was killed, with several from his battalion, by German stick bombs.

Where buried

Le Grand Hasard Military Cemetery, Morbecque, Northern France, Plot 2 Row E Grave 13.

Date of birth & full name

1879. ELI GILLETT

Occupation

Sadler/harness maker

Parents

Albert Gillett and Mary Jane Gillett (nee Talbot). Mary Jane died in 1890 having had six children. Albert married again in 1898 – to Mary Ann Mounter. Albert was a farm labourer.

Spouse & children

Elizabeth Gillett (nee Harvey). Married 24 August 1905.
Elizabeth died aged 94 years on 25 March 1976 and is buried in K.E. burial ground.
Children:
Mary born 1906. This was “Molly” Bishop, whose voice can be heard reciting The Kingsbury Poem on the film about K.E. “Them Bells”. This film, made in 2004/5, involved many local people in its production. It can be found on the KTT DVDs – Our Hundred: Films and Photos from the Parish.
George Harvey born 1907.
Albert born 1909 died 1979. He married Margaret Drusilla Male in 1912. Their son has helped with this project.

Awards

British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Other information

The photo of Eli Gillett above also appears on page 5 of ‘The Way We Were’ , one of two village books, as an apprentice boy outside the saddler’s shop owned by John Coate Bishop. No date is on the photograph. The boy is approx. 10-14 years old, which would date the photo at the 1890s.
The 1901 census shows Eli working for and living-in with William
Nelson, a sadler, in Eling, Totton, New Forest. Eli’s designation was “servant”. Possibly he was an apprentice, he was 21/22 years old at this time.
Eli went to New York in 1907, joining his brother-in- law Herbert Mounter in Schenectady. Herbert was married to Jemima, older sister to Eli’s wife, Elizabeth. Eli returned home to K.E. after about a year.
Eli’s widow Elizabeth and her sister Annie commemorated the deaths of their husbands Eli Gillett and Walter Talbot in a stone tablet in
St.Martin’s church – see photo below.

Walter Talbot and Eli Gillett Memorial