War Dead – Henry Jabez Gamble

Henry Jabez Gamble was born in 1891, the son of Thomas William Gamble and Sarah Gamble.

At the 1901 census, Henry lived at 12 Fir Street at Hebburn Colliery. The mine would have dominated his life, many in his family worked there and they could see it from where they lived. At the 1901 census the household consisted of:

Thomas William Gamble (husband, aged 36)
Sarah Gamble (wife, aged 39)
Mary Jane Gamble (daughter, aged 15)
John James Gamble (son, aged 13)
Thomas William Gamble (son, aged 10)
Henry Jabez Gamble (son, aged 9)
George Arthur Gamble (son, aged 4)
Albert Edwin Gamble (son, aged 2)

The family were living at the same household at the time of the 1911 census. Thomas (snr) was working as a deputy overman at the colliery, Sarah was a housewife, John was a printer & stationer, Thomas (jnr) was a coal miner, Henry was a grocer’s apprentice, George was a coal miner and Albert was at school and also had a job as a newsboy. Also living with the family at this time was Sarah’s father, James Pattison, aged 72.

The census also noted that Thomas and Sarah had had nine children, but three of them had died.

Henry signed up voluntarily to fight in the First World War, perhaps looking for adventure, joining a Pals Regiment. He was issued with service number 23/1401 and joined the 23rd Tyneside Scottish Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Henry died during the battle known as the Capture of La Boisselle in northern France, being killed on 1 July 1916 at the age of just 24. The battle was a success militarily for the British, but it came at a huge cost in terms of lives lost, with 9,860 British troops killed in this one operation).

Henry’s body wasn’t recovered, but he is listed on the Thiepval Memorial, a memory to the sacrifice he made.