One of eleven children, the son of Louisa Ann and David Gill, (A Signal Fitter), George Gill was born in Twyford, Hampshire, England in 1879. His naval career began on the HMS Northampton, a boys’ training ship, in 1897. He went on to serve on no less than 17 battleships before joining the crew of the Laurentic, by which time he had risen to the rank of Petty Officer 1st Class.
He married Blanche Stuart Kerr in Portsmouth, in the spring of 1916, just a year before the sinking of the Laurentic. A century after his death, the impact on the family of George Gill is clear in the correspondence they shared.
While no photographs remain, his Service Records describe a man, five feet and nine and a half inches tall, with blue eyes and a fresh complexion, and speak of his character as “Very Good” throughout. Violet Kerr, his sister-in-law called him “poor, dear George” in the letter she wrote to her Brother Fred on the day that Blanche received news of George’s death from the Admiralty. At the time of his death, George’s wife was newly pregnant. George may not even have known he was to be a Father. His Son, Ronald George Stuart Gill would never know his Father and was soon to lose his Mother too when Blanch died in 1918. He never married.
George Gill died from exposure after leaving the ship and is buried in St Mura’s Churchyard, Fahan, County Donegal.
(Ronald Gill’s Baptism Record)
(George Gill’s Service Record)