Name: Reginald Henry Gill

 

Birth Date: 2 September, 1882 Where:Putney, England
Died: 28 September, 1917 Where: Reninghelst, Belgium
Place of Enlistment: Perth, WA Age: 33
Serial Number: 2nd Lieutenant Battalion: 28th
Rank on Enlistment: 2nd Lieutenant Rank on Discharge/Death: Captain

Awards: British War Medal 1914 - 1920, Victory Medal, Military Cross

Photograph Gill
Service Details:

 

 

16 September

1915                      Enlisted

16 February

1916                      Disembarked Alexandria, Egypt

21 March

1916                      France

6/7 June

1916                      Trench Raid

21 June

1916                      Awarded Military Cross for Trench Raid

29 July – 27 Aug.

1916                      Pozieres (Sausage Valley)

4 August

1916                      Pozieres

26 August

1916                      Appointed Lieutenant

6 September

1916                      Belgium

October

1916                      Ypres and Dernacourt

11 October

1916                      Wounded

4 January

1917                      Appointed Captain

9 June

1917                      Rejoined Battalion

June

1917                      Bapaume

August

1917                      Cassel

28 September

1917                      Killed at Reninghelst, Belgium

 

 

 

 

Biographical Details:

Reginald Henry Gill was born in Putney, England on September 2nd 1883 to George and Agnes Gill .  He had two brothers, George Theodore Gill and Albert Richard Gill, both of whom also served during the war.  Reginald was educated at Ovingdean and then at Worcestor, a college for training naval cadets. Subsequently Reginald served on merchant ships for several years.  In 1906 he moved to Perth, Western Australia where he was employed as a clerk by the Fremantle Harbour Trust. Here he met and married Laura Jane Back in March 1907. They had a son who died soon after birth in 1908.


Reginald served 15 months as a 2nd Lieutenant with A.G.A – a Western Australian volunteer force – before resigning in 1914.  He enlisted in September 1915 and was appointed 2nd Lieutenant with the 7th reinforcements of the 28th battalion. He joined the battalion in Alexandria just before it left for France.


On April 2nd Lt Gill was appointed as the 28th battalion’s Scouts Officer. It was he who led the way through no man’s land during the Black Anzacs’ trench raid – a crucial role for which he was awarded the Military Cross. Brigadier General Paton personally wrote the recommendation:
For good general work in command of Battalion Scouts and conspicuous bravery in cutting enemy wire to within five yards of a strong hostile listening post and coolness in successfully withdrawing his party when further progress was impossible (5th 6th June). For, on the night of 6th 7th of June, guiding an assault party to a point in the enemy trenches selected for a raid which was successfully carried out.


In October 1916 the then Lt Gill was wounded. He received a gunshot wound to the left hand which required a long period of rehabilitation in England.  His return to France (9/6/1917) was also delayed by a bout of mumps.
Just 4 months later on 28th September Reginald Gill was one of 4 killed and 13 wounded when a German plane bombed the 28th battalion’s camp near Peperinghe.


The Sunday Times, 28th October, 1917, in its column “Perth Prattle” published the following:
Captain Reginald Gill, our first Military Cross hero, was killed whilst
fighting, -with one arm permanently disabled by a previous wound. A lesson
this for some of the slackers. That should be worth many recruiting speeches.
The disability the article refers to is the gunshot wound to Gill’s left wrist.


Reginald Gill was a popular officer. 
The men of C Company, Gill’s company, inserted the following notice in the West Australian on the anniversary of his death:
 Gill – A tribute to the memory of Capt Reginald Henry Gill, M.C., 28th Battalion, 7th Brigade, A.I.F., who was killed, September 28th, 1917. Buried at Nepestre near Peperinghe.
                They are not dead who fall in battle, giving
                Their lives for honour smiling at Death’s dart.
                They are not dead whose memory still is living
Within a nation’s heart.
Inserted by some men I “C” Company


And the following from officers of his battalion:
Gill – In memory of Captain Reg. Gill, M.C., 28th Battalion, killed in action on September 28th, 1917.
                A simple tribute to the memory of a good pal.
                Inserted by some brother officers of the Battalion.
And from his brothers:


Gill – In affectionate memory of our dear brother, Reg. (Captain R.H. Gill, M.C.), who made the supreme sacrifice somewhere in Flanders, September 28th 1917.
“A good life hath but a few days; but a name endureth for ever.” – Ecc. Xii., 13.
Inserted by his brothers, Theo. (Captain, Ghurka Rifles, India) and Dick (Captain, Hampshire Regiment attached King’s Africa Rifles, B.E., Africa).


Laura Gill was granted a 77shillings and 6pence fortnightly pension. In September 1925 she married the Rev. Louis Webb.  They moved to England soon after, where she died in 1946.

 

Gill Australian War Museum Link: Gill