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This information has been contributed by Susan Martin, a volunteer working on the Queen Street project:


Gilbert Henry Shelton was born on 7/7/1896 in Wolverhampton. The younger son of Jarvis Shelton and Helen Harriet (nee Gilbert). Jarvis was an ironmaster’s manager. In 1911 the family were living at St Clether, 44 Park Road, a ten roomed house. Gilbert had a younger brother Leonard Jarvis and younger sister Helen. As a boy Gilbert was a pupil at Tettenhall College and also attended Sunday School at Queen Street Congregational Church.

When he enlisted on 6/1/1915 he gave his occupation as a railway apprentice. Gilbert enlisted on 6/1/1915 and was put on the nominal roll public school battalion of the 69th (Royal Naval) Division. He stood at 5ft 9ins with brown hair and grey eyes. On 3/5/1915 he was assigned to Hawke Battalion D company based at Blandford. When the war broke out and naval reservists were mobilised it was found there were too many of them so some were formed into battalions and used as infantry, and they were joined by men volunteering like Gilbert. In July 1916 they were passed from the Admiralty to the army.

It is not clear whether Gilbert took part in the Gallipoli campaign, in which the 69th Division was involved. His record seems to show that he embarked on 11/6/1916 on the Franconia for Mudros in the Aegean and on the 18/6/1916 left there with the Battalion for Marseilles (arriving 23/6/1916) and deployment on the Western Front. On 22/8/1916 he was promoted to Leading Seaman. Gilbert died on 13/11/1916. This is the date it is assumed he was killed although it wasn’t until 26/7/1917 that he was declared to have been killed in action then. Gilbert is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France, as well as on the memorial in the Lady Chapel of St Peter’s Church, the Tettenhall College War Memorial, and the Queen Street Congregational Church memorial.