Gilbert Meredith Chivers
Serial No. 4783
Gilbert Meredith Chivers - Information
When Gilbert decided to enlist in the AIF, he was living in Ingleburn with his family. The Chivers came from Marrickville, where Gilbert was born on the 17th of April 1896, the first born of Thomas Henry and Sarah Lee Chivers. Gilbert grew up in the area with his many siblings on the family farm of Dunrobin. Here, the Chivers family developed ties to the community. Gilbert's father, Thomas, became a Town Alderman and eventually Mayor of Ingleburn. Gilbert later completed a four and a half year apprenticeship with Bennitt & Woods on Pitt St in Sydney, and eventually found work as a motor mechanic. The war would have a large impact on the Chivers family. In 1915, Gilbert's younger brother, Albert, enlisted in the AIF and left for war. Gilbert then decided to see more of the world and also volunteered for military service. He signed up on the 29th of January 1916 in Casula, aged 19. In March, Gilbert was allocated to the 12th Reinforcements, 18th Battalion, as a Private. He then departed Sydney on the 13th of April 1916 onboard the HMAT Ceramic.
Gilbert landed in England for further training, before proceeding to France on the 9th of September. He joined the 18th Battalion in the field some weeks later. In October, the 18th Battalion were shifted back to the Somme Sector for the winter. The churned up battlefield quickly turned into a quagmire with the poor weather. Consequently, he reported sick in November with lumbago. His health did not improve over the winter months, and he returned to hospital in April 1917 with influenza. In mid September, he was attached for duty with the 5th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters in France. Sadly, while he was still overseas, he and his brother were informed that their mother passed away on the 31st of January 1918 in Campbelltown. In April 1919, he was transported back to England. He was then sent back to Australia onboard the Miltiades in mid June 1919.
Gilbert returned to his family in Ingleburn. He tried to get on with his civilian life. In 1925, he married Ethel Amy Seymour in Liverpool, making a life together at 22 Linton Ave in West Ryde. Gilbert passed away in hospital on the 11th of December 1964, and was buried in the Northern Suburbs Cemetery.