118587, “C” Bty. 149th Bde., Royal Field Artillery
Died on 27th October 1917 Aged 22
Son of Jacob and Anne Gunston, of Neston House, Frogmore Avenue, Sketty, Swansea

***** ***** *****
Remembered with Honour

Lindenhoek Chalet Military Cemetery
***** ***** *****

Born in Swansea in the latter months of 1892, David was the youngest child of Jacob and Anne Gunston, 1859 to 1940 and 1853 to 1916 respectively. Jacob came from Melksham, Wiltshire, and Anne from Gower, marrying in 1881. Jacob was a general labourer in 1891, a quarry labourer in 1901, and by 1911 he was a local coal merchant. Following the death of his wife Jacob re-married in 1923.

In 1891, a year before David’s birth, the family was living at 41 New Oxford Street, Swansea. By 1901 they had moved to Townhill Road, Sketty and there were 4 children including David, aged 8. In 1911 the family home was at Neston House, 12 Frogmore Avenue, Sketty, and David was employed as a cartman aged 18.

He enlisted as a gunner, 118587, in the Royal Field Artillery “C” Bty. 149th Brigade.

David Gunston was killed in action on 27th October 1917 and is buried in Lindenhoek Chalet Military Cemetery, 9 Kms south-west of Ypres town centre in Belgium.


Sketty Aeroplane Scout

Mr, Gunston, Coal Merchant, Neston House, Sketty, has been informed that his youngest son, David, has been killed in France. He was in the Royal Field Artillery and acting as aeroplane scout for his battery when an enemy machine came over. Heavy fire was opened and, unfortunately, he was struck by a piece of shell. In expressing the sympathy of the battery with his relatives, the chaplain states that he was killed at his post of duty and no man could wish for a nobler death, though the blow will be hard to bear. He had been in France for the past 16 months and was home a month ago on short leave. He was the only

brother of P.S. Gunston, of the Swansea Borough Police, and Mrs. Talbot, fruiterer, Humphrey Street, and was a most estimable young man.

South Wales Weekly Post 10th November 1917

Lindenhoek Chalet Military Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium.

The first burials were made in the cemetery in March 1915 and it continued to be used by fighting units and field ambulances until October 1917. There are now 315 servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery.

The Passchendaele battles took place on the Western Front, between July and November 1917, for control of the ridges south and east of the Belgian city of Ypres in West Flanders, as part of a strategy decided by the Allies at conferences in November 1916 and May 1917. Passchendaele village lay on the last ridge east of Ypres, five miles from a railway junction at Roeselare, which was a vital part of the supply system of the German Fourth Army.

The British Fifth Army undertook minor operations to 22nd October 1917 to maintain pressure on the Germans while the Canadian Corps prepared for their assault. The four divisions of the Canadian Corps had been transferred to the Ypres Salient to capture Passchendaele and the ridge. The Canadian Corps relieved II Anzac Corps on 18 October from their positions along the valley between Gravenstafel Ridge and the heights at Passchendaele. The Canadian Corps operation was to be executed in a series of three attacks each with limited objectives, delivered at intervals of three or more days.

The dates of the phases were tentatively given as 26 October, 30 October and 6 November. The first stage began on the morning of 26 October. The 3rd Canadian Division captured Wolf Copse and secured its objective line and then swung back its northern flank to link up with the adjacent division of the British Fifth Army.

British Empire and Allied troops suffered between 200,000 and 400,000 casualties during the Passchendaete battles. It is probable that David Gunston’s death occurred during one of these Battles of Passchendaele which commenced on 26th October.

***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Additional Information

GUNSTON  David — died on 27th October 1917 aged 22. He was a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery (“C Bty 149th Bde). His service number was 118587. He is buried in the Lindenhoek Chalet Military Cemetery (Belgium). He was the son of Jacob and Anne Gunston (Neston House, Frogmore Avenue, Sketty).

In the 1911 census the family lived at 12, Frogmore Avenue. Jacob and Anne had been married for 30 years. Jacob was a coal merchant, born in 1858 in Witley (Wilts). Anne was born in 1853 in Gower. The children living with them at this time were Mary (1883), David (1893), a cartman and James Thomas (1897, born in Skewen), also a cartman.

In 1901, the family lived in Town Hill Road (part of what is now Vivian Road). It states that Jacob was born in Melksham and Anne in Gower. Their children, Mary (1884), Henry (1886) — labourer with a gas fitter, Bessie (1889) and David (1893) were all born in Swansea.

In 1891 the family lived in 41, New Oxford Street, Swansea. Jacob was a general labourer. This time it states that Anne was born in Penmaen, Gower. Their children, Eliza Mary, Henry John and Annie Jane (1889) were all born in Swansea.

I have been unable to trace Jacob in the 1881 census, but his parents and siblings were living at Shaw Hill, Melksham. His father was a labourer. His mother was a housekeeper. His brother Frank was a tailor and draper. His sister Eliza was unemployed.

In 1871, Jacob was living with his parents in Melksham. His parents were George (1827) and Mary Ann (1826). George (a sawyer) was born in Melksham and Mary was born in Chippenham. Jacob’s siblings were George (1853) — a labourer, Frank (1863), Eliza (1865) and Bessie (1868), all of whom attended school. They lived in Pococks Lane, Melksham.

In 1861 the family lived in Whitley Road, Melksham. George was a labourer and a sawyer. The children at home at this time were Jane (1850), Frederick (1851), Henry (1853), George, (1855), Ruth (1857) and Jacob (1859). All the children were born in Whitley and the youngest three were scholars.

In 1851 the family lived in Whitley, Melksham. George was a labourer. Mary Ann, it states was born in Derryhill. Their children, Jane and Fred were born in Melksham.

In 1841 the family lived in Whitley, but we are now back to the previous generation. James (1766), was an agricultural labourer and was a widower. With him lived Jacob (1801) – thatcher, Sarah (1806), James (1826), Henry (1826), George (1828), Jacob (1830), John (1832), William (1834), Abraham (1840). Next door to them lived Jane Gunston (aged 80), George (aged35) – mason, Mary Jane (30). They were all born in Wiltshire.