Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Private John William Gilpin, 5th Battalion Border Regiment in WW2

The headstone of 3599463 Private J.W. Gilpin, 5th Battalion The Border Regiment
Pvte. Gilpin is buried in St Paul's (C of E) Churchyard, Frizington, Cumbria.

The inscription on the headstone reads:
"Resting where no shadows fall".

(Photograph by J. Ritson)

Private John William Gilpin, Service No 3599463 the youngest son of Mrs and the late Mr Robert Gilpin, of Jane Street, Frizington, Cumberland (now Cumbria). As a young lad he was educated at St Paul's (C of E) School in his home village of Frizington, which is approximately 2 miles from Cleator Moor and approximately 5 miles from Whitehaven.

Upon leaving school, John W. Gilpin worked as a hotel porter. In May 1939 he joined the local Territorial Battalion, the 5th Battalion The Border Regiment. With the outbreak of war with Germany in September 1939 Private John W. Gilpin was called up and went out to France and Flanders as part of the B.E.F. in early 1940. After the German breakthrough in May / June 1940 those of the 5th Border Regiment who managed to escape were among the last to be evacuated from the Dunkirk beach head. Sadly, John Gilpin was to lose his life shortly only a few weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation as the result of an accident near Thirsk, North Yorkshire. At the time he was only 20 years old.

(For further information click on 'Comments' below)


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

On 19 August 1940, only a couple of months after being evacuated in the 'Miracle of Dunkirk', Private John W. Gilpin was accidentally killed as a result of being pinned beneath an overturned Bren Gun carrier. The Bren Gun carrier in which Private Gilpin was a passenger ran out of control on a steep hill known as Sneck Yat near Boltby, Thirsk and overturned. Private Giplin and the driver were pinned underneath, although the driver was uninjured. Another Frizington soldier with 5th Border, Corporal Robert Hunter, was also in the Bren Gun carrier at the time of the accident, and he too escaped unhurt.

At the subsequent inquest at Thirsk, one of Private Gilpin's officers made the following tribute to the Frizington soldier:

“This man recently came back from Flanders, where he made a very good name for himself. It seems particularly sad that after going through all that happened there, that he should meet his death in such circumstances here”.

A verdict of 'Accidental Death' was recorded by the York District Deputy Coroner. Mr E.T. Heap.

Private Gilpin's funeral took place on Friday 23 August 1940 at St Paul’s Church, Frizington. The church was full and in the following week's local newspaper, 'The Whitehaven News', it was reported that many of the friends and neighbours who attended the funeral had to wait outside the church.

As a serving soldier, Private John William Gilpin was buried with full military honours, and the coffin being covered with a Union Jack. The service was conducted by the vicar of St Paul's, Reverend A. Ecclestone M.A. The organist was Mr F. Pearce and the newspaper report records that the hymn “Jesu, Lover Of My Soul” was sung by the congregation. The bearers were members of the 5th Battalion Th Border Regimentm, with a detachment of a Border Regiment Company forming the firing party and sounding both the “Reveille” and the “Last Post”. Amongst the numerous floral tokens were ones from: Officers of H.Q. Wing Company, 5th Borders; Lieut. Musgrave of the Bren Gun Platoon and Men of the H.Q. Wing Company.

Private John William Gilpin, 5th Battalion The Border Regiment will be commemorated in the 'Roll of Honour' for the Fallen of the Cleator Moor area of West Cumbria. I have also been able to obtain a photograph of Private J.W. Gilpin in his army uniform.

(Thanks to 'The Whitehaven News' and Cumbria County Archives Office, Whitehaven for the above information)

Wednesday, 31 October, 2007  
Blogger nick gilpin said...

Hi all of my fathers family are from frizington,
as far as i am aware i am some how related to john gilpin but i can't find much about him but you seem to know a very lot please could you email me so we can talk about this more

many thanks
nick gilpin

Thursday, 18 August, 2011  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was just browsing looking at the area were my grand parents hale from, My Grand father was from frizington Eric Gilpin And Nana Violet Gilpin moved to north yorkshire,, There son my father John Gilpin who died 1985 in greece.. Anyway i was just looking to see if i have famaliy still in cumberland..

Monday, 16 July, 2012  
Blogger nick gilpin said...

Lee I belive you do I still have family members up in frizington if you have facebook there is a page called the most noble order of the gilpins very interesting

Tuesday, 17 July, 2012  

Post a Comment

<< Home