CWG: Private Gilbert Drew

Private Gilbert Drew

Gilbert Victor Drew was born in Dinder, Somerset in 1898, the youngest of the eight children of James and Theresa Drew, a groom/coachman and laundress respectively.

Gilbert initially enlisted in the West Somerset Yeomanry on 11th December 1915, serving on the Home Front.

Private Drew then transferred to the 1st Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry and was shipped overseas as part of the British Expeditionary Force on 1st August 1916.

He first reported to a medic in mid-November 1916; his records pick up the story from there:

First noticed he was passing a larger quantity of water than usual and was also feeling very thirsty.

2nd December 1916, caught influenza and was sent to England. Thirst has been great and urine very large in quantity since November. General condition good. Passes from 14 to 17 pints of urine each 24 hours – large quantity of sugar contained. No evidence of other disease. No improvement since admission.

Result of AS[?] Prolonged strain – especially during Somme offensive.

Medical Records

Private Drew was discharged from the army on 3rd February 1917 as “no longer physically fit for war service” due to diabetes.

Gilbert Victor Drew died on 1st July 1917; he was just 19 years of age. He was buried in the graveyard of the Church of St Michael in his home village of Dinder, Somerset.

He was one of six villagers to fall during the Great War.

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