BIRD, Gilbert John
(Service number 52562)
|First Rank||Lance Corporal||Last Rank|
|Date||24 March 1889||Place of Birth||Walton, Somerset, England|
|Address at Enlistment||Waimate, Studholme Junction|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Marital Status||Single on attestation; married before embarkation|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Hannah Isabella BIRD (wife), 15 Bert Street, Waimate|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||New Zealand Expeditionary Force|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||28th Reinforcements, Wellington Infantry Regiment, B Company|
|Date||24 July 1917|
|Embarked From||Destination||Plymouth, Devon, England|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Wellington Infantry Regiment|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||21 July 1970||Age||81 years|
|Place of Death||Ashburton|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Ashburton Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Old Lawn Section, Plot 667|
|New Zealand Memorials||Willowbridge & Studholme District Roll of Honour|
Gilbert John Bird was born on 24 March 1889 at Walton, Somerset, England, the eldest son of John Henry and Mary (née Craddock) Bird. He was still at home in England in 1911, working as a farm hand. About 1912/1913 he had come to New Zealand. Gilbert married Hannah Isabella Bradley on 22 March 1917 at St Paul’s Methodist Church, Waimate. He enlisted before his marriage but was soon able to name his wife as next-of-kin.
Lance Corporal G. J. Bird embarked with the Wellington Infantry Regiment of the 28th Reinforcements on 24 July 1917 per the “Waitemata”, destined for Plymouth, Devon. He returned to New Zealand by the “Port Hacking” which was due at Lyttelton on 16 August 1919. At a ballot for land for soldiers, held in mid December 1919 at Christchurch, G. J. Bird of Waimate was successful in drawing a section of the Acton settlement. Gilbert was farming at Pendarves by 1929 when he was elected to the school committee. Mr G. J. Bird, of Chertsey, travelled home to England in 1935 and stayed with his parents at Chingford, Essex. In 1942 he appealed for release of his eldest son, Trooper John Bradley Bird, from camp to assist with the harvest at Pendarves. Gilbert John Bird died on 21 July 1970 at Ashburton where he was buried.
The name of G. Bird is inscribed on the Willowbridge and Studholme District First World War Roll of Honour.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [25 November 2020]; Ashburton Cemetery headstone image (Ashburton District Council) [15 July 2021]; Sun, 8 August 1919, Timaru Herald, 15 December 1919 (Papers Past) [16 July 2021]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
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