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Colin Gelder

Date of birth: 1894
Date of death: 3.7.1916
Area: Wrenthorpe
Regiment: King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: Husband of Elsie Gelder nee Bateman and father of Dorothy and Marian
Rank: Private
Service number: 3558

War Service

Colin was a stretcher bearer in the 1st/4th KOYLI number 3558 and must have enlisted early in the conflict as according to the medal rolls index card he arrived in France on 13th April 1915 and was entitled to the 14/15 Star as well as the Victory and British War Medals.
On 1st July 1916 his battalion arrived in Aveluy Wood, moving to Thiepval Wood on 2nd. However it is not known when Colin was wounded, only that he was taken to Number 108 Field Ambulance where he died on 3rd July 1916 as reported in the Wakefield Express-
“A WRENTHORPE STRETCHER-BEARER KILLED – Mrs Gelder, Sharp’s Fold, Wrenthorpe has received official intimation that her husband Private Colin Gelder, a stretcher-bearer, died from wounds on July 3rd. Deceased who was 22 years of age was a miner at Wrenthorpe Colliery when he enlisted in October 1914. He leaves a widow and two young children. He played football for Horbury Junction and Wrenthorpe Adult School.”
On 29th July that year the same paper reported “ST ANNE’S CHURCH – a memorial service was held on Sunday afternoon for Private Colin Gelder KOYLI who died of wounds in France on July 3rd. The Vicar gave a short address.”
He is buried at Forceville Communal Cemetery.

Family Life

In 1901 Colin was living with his father William, who was a miner and his mother Selina in Morley. He was the youngest of a large family and said to be born in Barnsley in about 1894. His siblings still at home were Elizabeth (b1883), George (b1884), Ethel (b1888), Bertha (b1890) and Emma (b1892).
Ten years later in the 1911 census he is recorded as living with his widowed mother and his sister Emma at Middleton Road, Morley and working at the cloth factory, but this census states his birthplace as Northumberland. It also says that Selina had given birth to twelve children altogether, although only nine were still living.
On 8th November 1913 he married Elsie Bateman at St Anne’s Wrenthorpe. He was recorded as a 19-year-old millhand from Great Horton Road, Morley. Elsie and Colin had two daughters, Dorothy born in 1914 and Marian in 1915.

Photo of Forceville Communal Cemetery. A white cross memorial and rows of headstones. Forceville Communal Cemetery

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