George Israel Gosby  1896 – 1971

George was probably born on 20th July 1896 in Folkestone, to George Bean Gosby and Emily (née Claringbold), and was the first of probably seven children. 

The 1901 Census showed that they were living at 47 Marshall St, Folkestone, with George senior working as a carpenter. By this time, George had two younger sisters. In 1911, the family was living at Rose Cottage in Shepherdswell, and George was employed as a farm helper.

Although Higgs’ book stated that George served in WW1, records are difficult to find that confirm what he did. He married Fanny Elizabeth Swinerd , a farmer’s daughter, on 28th July 1917 in Shepherdswell. The Banns were read in both Shepherdswell, where Fanny lived, and St Martin’s, Canterbury, which was given as George’s parish. 

Fanny’s occupation on marriage was given as an Army Pay Clerk, and George was listed as a soldier. The Dover Express of 3rd August 1917, describing the wedding, stated that George was a Corporal “RR, RFA”, and had been both christened and confirmed at St Andrew’s. It is possible that George Gosby, service no. 910608, a Corporal in the Royal Field Artillery, is our man. His medal card has survived but no other War record has been found to date. This gave his date of discharge as 7th March 1920.

George has proved to be an enigma following the War and has not been found in subsequent records with any certainty. A son, George William Claringbold Gosby, was born in 1921 in the Thanet district, and a family tree on the Ancestry website appears to suggest that there was a second child. There appears to be no record of George, Fanny or their son on the 1939 Register. 

There is a death registered for a George Gosby of Broadfield, Highview Avenue, Herne Bay on 29th April 1971 at the age of 74, which is probably him.