Rifleman Joseph Ernest Gill was born in the summer of 1897 in Leicester. His parents George McLean and Eveline were both natives of SHeffield and were married at St George’s Church on Brook Hill in 1890. George was described as an accountants clerk in 1901 and 1911 but this seems to underplay his status as for many years he was clerk to the Children’s Hospital Board, a post the his father (Joseph’s grandfather) had also held before him. In 1927 George Gill provided equipment for a new ward and furnishings for the accommodation needed to house the extra staff required to run the ward. This donation was in memory of Frederick Gill whohad been the Board’s clerk for many years. The Gills were generous hearted, public spirited people, charactersitics that would have influenced Joseph as he grew up.
George and Eveline moved around the East Midlands as Joseph’s two elder siblings had been born in Doncaster (Edith in 1894) and Nottingham (Reginald in 1895) and he was born in Leicester in 1898. By 1911 the family was at 152 Oakbrook Road.
Gill’s service record does not exist so we do not know much about his war time experiences.
Joseph joined the 1/7 West Yorkshire Regiment and was killed in action on 16 April 1918 aged 20 years. He is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial.
Gill is also commemorated at Ranmoor and in Fulwood Graveyard on the grave of his great grandparents (Thomas and Sarah Franks) and his parents:
Also of Joseph Ernest Gill, 1/7 West Yorks Reg, youngest son of G M and E Gill, and great grandson of Sarah Franks,
killed in action at Kemmel Hill 16th April 1918 aged 20.
“He gave his life for his country’s cause”
(Kemmel Hill is in Belgium and was the scene of fierce fighting over the summer of 1918 although Gill was killed some days before the Germans captured it.)