Sergeant 27246 George Charles Gilder DCM , MM

George Charles Gilder was born at Mashbury, Essex on 8 March 1893 to Joseph and Eliza Gilder.

The family soon moved to Willingale Doe where Joseph Gilder was a carpenter at Clapgates Farm.

As soon as he left school, George became a farm labourer at the farm.

We know that George Joined the Essex Regiment in about March 1916 as Private 27246 and after training was posted to the 1st Battalion Essex regiment who were then serving in France.

He is likely to have joined the Battalion in the late summer of 1916 in time for the Somme offensive.

He was obviously a good soldier as he rose through the ranks and as an Acting Sergeant on 13 November 1918 the London Gazette carried a notice that he was awarded the Military Medal.

Unfortunately there is no surviving records nor the reason for this award although it is likely to have taken place in the early summer of 1918.

While consideration was given to the confirmation of the award of the Military Medal He was promoted to Sergeant and continued his good work including valiant action on 18th September 1918 for which he was recommended for a DCM and the award of this medal was confirmed in the London Gazette on 16 January 1919.

The citation read - For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Tresecoult on 18th September 1918. This NCO in charge of a bombing party, worked his way to a flank to gain touch with troops on the right. He personally bombed back greatly superior numbers  of the enemy, passing one barricade and going on alone against another block which was strongly held. He made four determined attempts to remove the block, but failed so he bombed the enemy back out of range and after silencing them got his men up to the position and made further unsuccessful attempts to remove the block. Later he crawled out under heavy fire to bring in a wounded man. He showed the greatest determination throughout.

Thus George Gilder became one of the few Essex men to be awarded the DCM and the MM during the Great War.

George survived the Great War and returned to farm work  in 1922 married Gertrude Johnson.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, George was employed as a Horseman and Living with Gertrude and their Daughter at Ongar where he remained  until his death in 1975.