Wilfred Gant

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Number:                   Unit: 7th Lincolnshire Regt.

Rank: Pte.                       Commemorated:
                          Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery,
                                               Belgium.

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PERSONAL DETAILS.

Born in Tetford on the 31st March 1893, Wilfred was 22 years old when he died.  He was the 6th son of William Gant of Belchford (a farm labourer) by his wife Biddie, daughter of William Parker.  Educated at Tetford School, Wilfred was subsequently training as a Policeman but enlisted on the 30th September 1914. He went to France in the July of 1915 and died on the 5th September 1915, from wounds received the previous day. After leaving Tetford School, Wilfred became employed as a Point Holder on the Great Northern Railway.  At the age of 21 years and 4 months, Wilfred enlisted as a 4th Class Constable in the Lincolnshire County Police force.  His attestation documents show he was 5’ 10’’ tall, grey eyes and brown hair.  His religion was Church of England.  References were given to the Police force on Wifred’s behalf by the then Rector of Tetford, the Reverend William Wood MA (rector for the period 1903 - 1922) and the villiage Tailor, J.W. Maughan (uncle to W. C. Maughan named on the memorial).  He served for just 64 days, being allowed to resign on the 29th September 1914, the day before his enlistment into the army. 

SERVICE DETAILS.

After enlisting at Horncastle, Wilfred found himself drafted into the 7th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment, a Kitchener's Battalion. The Regiment,  formed at Lincoln, was part of the 51st Brigade of the 17th Northern Division.  This division comprised of units from the Midlands, The North of England and Dorset.  Having received orders to move overseas, advance parties of the division left Southampton on the 6th July 1915, the remainder of the division beginning its embarkation for France 6 days later.  It concentrated south of St. Omer before being located south west of Ypres, on the 19th July.  Instruction in trench warfare soon began, the regiment first moving into the trenches on the 27th July linking with the territorial battalions of the regiment.  The division finally saw its first action on the 9th August 1915, when the British attacked the village of Hooge on the Ypres-Menin Road.

The official history of the Lincolnshire Regiments records that, in another tour of the front line, in the same sector, from the 3rd to the 11th September 1915, the 7th battalion suffered further casualties.  Total casualties for the period 18th June to 25th September 1915 were 3 Officers and 129 other ranks killed or wounded.   Wilfred met his fate on the 4th/5th September 1915, there being no particular action in which the battalion was engaged at that time.  It would appear Wilfred died whilst participating in routine trench warfare.

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