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Gerald Arthur Coleman: Thursday 6th February 1919

Alfred enlisted as Private 2286 with the 1st/16th Batt. London Regiment. He was later a Rifleman, before gaining a “commission into the regular army” on 4 February 1915. He was a Captain in the Royal Defence Corp by the time he died aged 28.

He died at Angmering on Sea in Sussex and was buried in a family plot in Earlsfield Cemetery on 10 February 1919. His standard war grave headstone sits in the middle of a badly eroded, and no longer legible, marked plot. When his widow gained probate Gerald’s estate was valued at £129 18s 9d.

Although he died well after the Armistice, two days before George Abbott and well after Leonard Elmes, who was also a late addition, he is still in his correct alphabetic place on the memorial.

Gerald’s parents were Alfred and Laura of 16 Herondale Avenue.  Alfred managed a wholesale drapery warehouse.  Gerald’s father had risen from being a commercial traveller in 1901 to city merchant. The family had moved from Leathwaite Road in 1891 and 31 Honeywell Road in 1901 and were still there in 1911 when they employed a live-in servant.  He had a brother Douglas Alfred, 3 years older, who was an inspector of insurance agents, and another sibling who died in infancy. Gerald was a carriage proprietor’s clerk in 1911 and married Sylvia Eileen at St Luke’s Battersea on 27 January 1917, by which time, he was a Second Lieutenant.

Sylvia gave her address to CWGC after the war as “Lynden”, Claygate, Surrey. Gerard is noted as having gone to France in 1914 with the Queen’s Westminster’s and later being a “Commandant” of a Prisoner of war Camp.