Norwich – Earlham Cemetery (Alan George Gibling)

This is the war grave of Alan George Gibling, located at Earlham Cemetery in the main area and not within the military section. I can’t find out anything about his period in the First World War itself, but the story here (for me anyway) is that this is the first time I’ve submitted a request for the CWGC to change information on their web-site.

But, going back a bit, Alan was born on 3 June 1896, the son of George Joseph Gibling and Ellen Gibling (nee Dix). At the 1901 census, he was living with his parents and his brother John Charles and his sister Margaret Ellen, as well as a servant Baldry Gibling, although it’s confusing why she shared the same surname with no obvious family links. They lived at 191 College Road in the city and Alan was educated at Avenue Road School and then at the City of Norwich School between 1 September 1908 and 20 July 1912.

At the 1911 census, the family were still living in the same property and this time the family has been joined by Geoffrey Dix, with the servant now 19-year old Alice Nichols. This census also reveals that George and Ellen lost one child at some point during their marriage.

Alan’s war records seem to have been lost in the fire during the Second World War, as so many were, but he joined the Norfolk Regiment, but I’m not sure whether or not he would have seen active service. Alan died on home soil on 17 October 1915 at the age of 19.

Back to the CWGC, the record on their web-site lists him as Allen George, and I wonder whether someone has looked at his mother’s name and got muddled up. Mistakes are not uncommon due to the challenging way that the information was gathered around a century ago, with the CWGC noting they make changes to their database most days based on details provided. All of the other war details, mentions on war memorials, his school records and censuses have him listed as Alan George. I was going to just leave the CWGC record incorrect rather than spend time compiling the evidence that they required, but it seemed the right thing to do for Alan’s permanent record to be correct.

Although we’ll likely now find out that I’ve misunderstood something and no change is needed, but we shall see….