• John Williams Gillbanks

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    • Gunner John William Gillbanks
    • Posted by KateClarke49, Saturday, 22 January 2022

    John was born on 25 May 1893, the eldest of 10 children born to Catherine and Benjamin Gillbanks. John attested at Trentham on 9 February 1916. He had been working as a coach driver for Jury Bros. Leaving Wellington on board the troopshop Willochra 3 months later, he arrived in Devonport in July and finally, France on 6 January 1917. He was admitted to hospital on 18 April 1917 with strained back muscles but the disability was deemed trivial and unlikely to "interfere with his future efficiency as a soldier". He had been crushed between two mules during stables through no fault of his own. John was killed at Havrincourt, France on 27 September 1918 and was initially interred at Barastre Communal Cemetery German Extension with 3 other New Zealanders, relocated to H A C. Cemetery, Ecoust-St. Mein, Pas de Calais after the Armistice. The second picture shows the wooden grave marker before the Commonwealth War Graves headstone.