Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project

Archibald GILBERT of Lynsted

b. 19th July 1884
d. 30th June 1942. Aged 58

Chief Stoker, Service Number C/309782
HMS Pembroke (Chatham Shore base)
Royal Navy

Lynsted Church Extension Churchyard
Died of illness

Archibald was born on 19 July 1884 in Greenstreet, Teynham. He was one of the 11 children of Abraham, a self employed carpenter and fencer, and Amy (née Kemsley). Archibald's older sibling was Percy William. Percy died aged 18 in 1901, while serving as a private in the 10th Hussars, following hospitalisation in St James's Hospital, Woolwich. He is buried in Teynham Churchyard.

His younger siblings were Mildred Kate, Violet Ethel, Edith Nora, Reginald Frank, Hilda Winifred, John Maxwell, Cuthbert Eric and Sybil Irene. In 1900 another daughter was born but died only hours old. Reginald was killed in the First World War. His full biography has been published in the Lynsted with Kingsdown Society's book "They Shall Grow Not Old".

Archibald was born on 19 July 1884 in Greenstreet and christened in Teynham Church on 10 October 1884. At the time of the 1911 Census, Archibald was working alongside his father in carpentry and fencing. The family were living at 22 London Road, Lynsted.

In 1906, Archibald enlisted in the Royal Navy for 12 years. Prior to the First World War he service included time on HMS Acheron, Ramillies, Thelis and Inflexible. During the First World War, amongst the ships he served on were HMS King George V, Leander and Attentive. Records suggest that Archibald served for an additional 10 years, having been promoted to Chief Stoker, leaving the service in 1928.

Immediately on the outbreak of war, Archibald re-joined the Navy and on 26 August 1939 he was stationed at HMS Pembroke (Chatham Shore-base). On 3 May 1940, Archibald transferred to HMS Landrail in Scotland, another shore-base where in the early 1940s, the Royal Navy built an airfield that would be used by the Fleet Air Arm Squadrons throughout the Second World War. Originally called "Strabane Naval Air Station", it was later renamed "H.M.S Landrail, RN Air Station, Machrihanish". During 1940 and 1942, almost every aircraft of the time operated here and a huge number of both Royal Navy and RAF squadrons passed through its gates, making it one of the three busiest front line airfields in Britain.

At some time in 1942 Archibald was taken in and transferred to the Royal Naval Hospital in Gillingham (now the Medway Maritime Hospital) where he died on 30 June 1942 of coronary occlusion. He is buried in Lynsted Church Extension Churchyard.

Other Notes of Interest - Probate

Archibald's probate reads: "GILBERT Archibald of 22 London Road, Teynham, Kent, died 30 June 1942 on war service. Administration Lewes 9 November to Sybil Irene Smith married woman. Effects £1537 16s. 8d."

Archibald's sister, Edith Nora, then of 22 London Road, Lynsted, spinster, died 8th July 1962 at Radley, 28 Queens Road, Tankerton, Kent. Probate records show that, on 17th October, her estate went to Sybil Irene Smith (wife of Ernest Albert Smith) amounting to £281 12s. 10d.

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