RIP Gilbert Houldsworth

Family and friends of the Vansittart Neales were doing their bit in various ways. Florence’s daughters were getting vaccinated in order to become nurses, while one family friend had already made the ultimate sacrifice. William Gilbert Houldsworth, a 23 year old Lieutenant in the Scots Guards who had joined the army in May 1914 just after graduating from Oxford, was severely wounded at the Battle of the Aisne on 13 September, dying ten agonising days later.

23 September 1914

Both girls inoculated…

Jamie Balfour wounded – hope slightly. William went off to Malvern to join the Worcesters. Gilbert Houldsworth died.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)

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Great slaughter on the Aisne

Friends of Florence Vansittart Neale of Bisham Abbey had received bad news of their soldier son.

22 September 1914
Battle of the Aisne still going on. Germans strongly positioned, but Allies not giving way. Fear great slaughter. Houldsworths heard from WO. Gilbert wounded badly in head – hoping still.

Diary of Florence Vansittart Neale (D/EX73/3/17/8)