Rank or Title
Date of Birth
Date of Death
30 Dec 1915
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte Frank William Gilder, 2430, 1/24th Battalion, County of London Regiment, was killed in action at Loos on December 30th, 1915. He was aged 19.
Born in Luton in May 1896, he was the third son of William Everard Gilder and Sarah Sanderson Gilder, of 35 Moor Street, Luton, and had been with the 24th Londons since the outbreak of war. His younger brother Claude had been a member of the Luton News staff.
Before the war Frank was a member of the Luton Amateur FC and, while in training at St Albans and Hatfield, played for Luton Town in the reserve team. He also made one appearance in the first team and was described as having made his mark among the front rank in footballers.
His battalion left England for France around the end of February 1915 and during his 10 months there saw much fighting. He went through the famous charge in which several Luton lads fell, and it was from him that the earliest and most complete particulars were received in Luton.
News of Frank Gilder's death came first in a letter dated January 1st, 1916, from Pte Bat Woods, another Lutonian serving in the 24th Londons. He said Frank had been sitting in his dug-out with others when a shell burst right on top, burying all of them. Two men were fortunate enough to be dug out but with severe injuries, but Frank and one other were believed killed.
Pte Woods said he would be going to the line that afternoon to see if was possible to get Frank out and give him the best possible burial.
In a subsequent letter, however, Cpl May, of the 24th Londons, said Pte Gilder's trench had been mined by the enemy, and it was not a shell that caused the damage.