Gilbert Foster Blight

Rank Rifleman
Service No 302721
Date of Death 14/03/1917
Age 28
Regiment/Service London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade) 2nd/5th Battalion
Cemetery Douchy-les-Ayette British Cemetery. The cemetery is 1km west of Ayette, a village some 13kms south of Arras, France.

 

Gilbert Foster Blight was born in the parish of St Mary's Islington on 18th August 1888 to Howard Blight, a Commercial Traveller in the timber trade, and his wife, Fanny Elizabeth Blight, nee Tyson. Gilbert had one older brother Howard Edgar (b.1883). He was educated at Owen’s Boys School in Islington, from 1899 to 1904, which moved to Potter's Bar in 1973 and is now known as Dame Alice Owen's School. He was a cashier in the London and South Western Bank, one of the leading joint stock banks. It merged with its rival, the London and Porvincial Bank, at the end of 1917 and the new bank became part of Barclays Bank on 2nd October 1918. Gilbert passed both the preliminary and final Bankers’ Institute Exams.

In both the 1891 and 1901 censuses, the family were living at 99 Crayford Road, Upper Holloway in north London. In 1911, all four of the family were living at 8 Causton Road, Archway. 

Gilbert enlisted in Finchley on 5th April 1916 and was deployed to the continent on 25th January 1917, landing at Le Havre. Gilbert took part in the operations on the Ancre, which took place from 11th January to 13th March. He died on 14th March, during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. His Commanding Officer wrote: “In him the company has lost a brave soldier, a hard worker, and I know he was to many men a faithful friend. He was so reliable.” His chaplain also wrote “His loss is very much felt by all his comrades, for everyone in his platoon was fond of him”. A comrade wrote “Everyone who met him liked him, and enjoyed his bright, cheerful company.”

At the time of his death he was unmarried and his registered address was Beechwood, Beechwood Avenue, Finchley. His estate was valued at £817 3s 10d.