Gilbert Shuttleworth KIRKE
Year of Birth: 1894
Place of Birth: Mt. Perry, Upper Burnett, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 3 March 1915
Date and Place of Embarkation: 29 June 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Ship: HMAT Aeneas A60
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Unit(s): 25th Australian Infantry Battalion
Regimental Number: 903
Died: 5 August 1916
Gilbert Shuttleworth Kirke was born 26 January 1894 in Mt Perry, Upper Burnett to James Kirke and Jane Buckley. He was one of 5 children, Agnes Wilkie born Lancashire, England 1883, James Buckley born NSW 1886, Gertrude Grimshaw born NSW 1890 and Malcolm Kinloch born Qld 1896.
Gilbert’s father, James, a Presbyterian Minister, his mother Jane and sister Agnes came to Australia in 1881 and after spending 7 years in NSW where his brother James and sister Gertrude were born, they moved to Queensland. They lived in many towns such as Maryborough, Bowen, Ayr and Gin Gin before coming to Cairns. Gilbert’s father died in Babinda in 1918, his mother Jane lived on till 1945.
Gilbert’s brother Malcolm served as a driver in the 8th Field Artillery Brigade and returned home safely in 1919. Malcolm also served in the AN&MEF and died in 1985.
On Gilbert’s enlistment in Cairns he was 21 years 2 months, occupation a Labourer and next of kin, his father, Rev. J. Kirke, Babinda. His height was 5 feet 10 ½ inches, weighed 150 pounds with fair complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. His religion was Presbyterian.
After disembarking from the “HMAT Aeneas” he was admitted to hospital several times suffering from Bronchitis and Asthma.
Gilbert Shuttleworh Kirke was killed in action on the 5 August 1916 at Somme, France and remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, Picardie, France.
NAA B2455 – letter from Gilbert’s brother
The First Expeditionary Force: the Thursday Island Expedition: a collection of reference documents. Denis Bird, 2015 [CDFHS Library]
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