Author Topic: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial  (Read 3673 times)

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Offline BillTodd

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Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« on: June 17, 2014, 01:27:40 pm »
I am in search of any information regarding my grandfather's brother, Frederick Ellis Gubbins, who is commemorated on North Mymms war memorial.
Corporal Gubbins of 2/4 Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment) was killed on December 21, 1917, in hand-to-hand fighting near Jerusalem, age 19. He is buried in the CWGC cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
He was born in Chipping Warden, Oxfordshire, and the 1911 census shows him living at home with his dairy farmer father and working as an assistant stockman.
I believe he was employed as an estate worker in North Mymms before going off to the First world War.
Any information or suggestions for further research sources would be much appreciated.
 

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 01:37:20 pm »
Hi Bill, welcome to the forum. Let's hope someone has some information for you. I have tweeted to see if anything comes up. I suppose you have seen the pictures of the war memorial on the site

The Brookmans Park Newsletter has been supporting the village and our local community since 1998 by providing free, interactive tools for all to use.
 

Offline BillTodd

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2014, 02:07:28 pm »
Thanks for the help, David. Yes, I spotted the pictures a while ago and visited last week. It's a lovely setting and we were blessed with beautiful weather. I have Fred's war diary and plan to publish it as an ebook but it would be nice to fill in some detail of his earlier life.
Fingers crossed.
Thanks again,

Bill
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2014, 04:55:29 pm »
This image is from the North Mymms Roll Of Honour - A book produced in 1919 by Benjamin Mallet the Headmaster of Welham Green Boys School.
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2014, 04:57:35 pm »
Just in case you have not seen the online North Mymms Roll Of Honour.

http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Hertfordshire/NorthMimms.html
 

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2014, 05:41:28 pm »
Thanks for sharing that, Epiphany. I saved that page to my desktop and then converted to pdf to embed (below). David

<a href="http://www.brookmans.com/pdfs/50219Roll%20of%20Honour%20-%20Hertfordshire%20-%20North%20Mimms.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.brookmans.com/pdfs/50219Roll%20of%20Honour%20-%20Hertfordshire%20-%20North%20Mimms.pdf</a>
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2014, 05:46:04 pm »
There is quite a lot of information about Frederick here. The image is from the North Mymms Parish Magazine. The reference to Major Bryan Laing is because he lived at Abdale House, North Mymms.

Do you have any images of Frederick? Do you have any diaries that refer to his time in North Mymms?
 

Offline mymmspics

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2014, 10:45:10 pm »
You might be interested in the entry that will go into the revised Mighty Men of Mymms Roll of Honour.
Its plan is to record in as much detail as possible all the men of Mymms who left never to return  in the service of our country, at present the total found is 54 and counting, there will be a display at the St. Mary's Summer Festival and it planned to have the full listing ready for November, so far I have been working on this project for some 18months.

Any information on Frederick or his fellow men gratefully received

Mike Allen

<a href="http://www.brookmans.com/pdfs/91941Gubbins.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.brookmans.com/pdfs/91941Gubbins.pdf</a>
« Last Edit: June 18, 2014, 07:37:34 am by David Brewer »
 

Offline BillTodd

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2014, 01:46:16 pm »
Many thanks for all the wonderful information. Until now I have had no information between Frederick’s details in the 1911 census, set out earlier, and his war diary.
I’m curious as to why he left the Oxfordshire village where his family lived for some 200 years and what he did between 1911 and 1917. I was also intrigued to read in the parish magazine that we was not called up due to ill health yet volunteered.
I have attached a photo of Fred and a picture of his grave outside Jerusalem.
His diary is a very small book densely written. I have scanned it and tried to transcribed it but am still struggling over words, especially place names.
It begins, “Left Sittingbourne 7 O’clock 20th April 1917.” and ends “Dec 17th, We left Mount Zion and went into the line and took over a position from the Cheshires 159 Brigade.”
Fred was killed on Friday December 21, 1917. Age 19.
In the 1,100 words in between these events he describes sailing from Southampton aboard the troop ship Transylvania, bound for Alexandria with 200 officers and 2,860 troops, escorted by the Japanese destroyers Matsu and Sakaki.
The ship was torpedoed on May 4 in the Gulf of Genoa by U63 and the destroyers took off survivors, 414 passengers lost their lives.
The officer commanding the Japanese flotilla recorded his admiration of the “silence and calmness” of the men in the sinking ship and the courage of the nurses.
The survivors were landed at Savona and returned to Marseilles where, after rest, they boarded the transport Kashmir. Frederick and his comrades arrived in Alex on June 11. He spent time in an isolation camp with scarlet fever before qualifying on a bombing course (the clearing of trenches with hand grenades gave us the phrase “bombing along”).
His division advanced up into Palestine, passing through Be’er Sheva, Hebron, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
The regimental war diary for December 21, 1917, says: “One company of this Battalion and one company of the 2/10 Middlesex Regt Advanced along the wall and after sharp fighting ejected the enemy from the crest of WHITE HILL, all our objectives being taken by midday. For the rest of the day until dark the enemy made repeated attempts to regain both ZAMBY and WHITE HILL, covered by artillery fire.
Close hand to hand fighting resulted, but on every occasion the enemies counter attacks were driven off with bayonet and bomb, on some instances our men beating back the Turks with clubbed rifles, entrenching tools and even clenched fists, and all our positions were maintained.”
The day’s action saw eight officers killed, 32 other ranks killed and 66 wounded, of whom 6 died of wounds. Frederick was one of them.
 

Offline AllModCons

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2014, 02:42:03 pm »
I attended Brookmans Park Primary School during the early to mid 1970's and there was a Fred Gubbins two years above me. Given that Gubbins seems to me to be a reasonably rare name (I haven't met another), I wonder if he was related to the Fred Gubbins who died in World War One. Having said that I believe the 1970s Fred Gubbins wasn't actually christened  Fred/Frederick!
 

Offline epiphany

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2014, 05:00:42 pm »
Thank you Bill for posting your detailed information and images.

It is great to be able to put a face to a name - He looks so young.
 

Offline mymmspics

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2014, 06:01:25 pm »
Fantastic, I hope you will permit the inclusion of the details and photos onto Frederick's Page.
I had put him as West Sussex rather than Surrey, The War Graves lists him as Corporal 3rd Bn. His war time cross shows acting lance Corporal 2nd/4th Bn.

So far he is the only man of whom we have a photo of in uniform!

Surprisingly he is also the man we have the most info of, even though he came from outside North Mymms, There are a number of Gardeners from North Mymms House on the Memorial, As The Burns family who owned North Mymms Park were the biggest contributors to the memorial they include their employees who had lost their lives, (Good for them). We are fortunate to have the roll of honour otherwise we would not know who these people were and where they came from.

Many thanks
 

Offline BillTodd

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 07:53:06 pm »
Please make use of any of the information as you see fit. It is the least I can so after you have filled in so many gaps.
The CWGC site lists Fred as in 2/4 battalion:
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/647027/GUBBINS,%20FREDERICK%20ELLIS
as does the cross on his grave but the inside page of his diary says 3rd battalion. Perhaps there was some amalgamation due to losses? I have attached the first pages of the diary. the other chap mentioned is Fred's brother Bill, my grandfather, who served in the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry. Fred's 3rd battalion address seems to suggest France but these pages do give some indication of the problems of accurate transcription.
I wonder if there are any records of Fred's life in North Mymms from the time he arrived until he signed up?
As far as I am aware he was unmarried, he died at the age of 19, so I have no knowledge of any other relatives in the area although I'm curious as to why he moved down from north Oxfordshire, quite a job move in those days, I image.

 

Offline mymmspics

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2014, 05:35:19 pm »
At present we do not have any info on the employment of gardeners in North Mymms Park, the house changed hands a number of times in the last 30 years and all the documents were lost destroyed, what a pity.

He clearly wasn't at North mymms in 1911 which the latest census, just in case I had a look and Gubbins is not listed in the Bothy, there were including the head garden 8 gardeners listed, that's apart from the other staff, you might be interested to know that North Mymms Park Gardens (not the house) are open on the 28th June in the afternoon The Bothy is still there but I think its now a Gym or offices, but I am sure you would be able to see.

Mike
 

Offline BillTodd

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Re: Fred Gubbins on North Mymms war memorial
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2014, 06:15:44 pm »
Thanks, Mike. It's a great shame when historic records like that go missing but every little helps.
Cheers,
Bill
 

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