William Ignatius Patrick Gamble was born in the area of St. Saviour, Southwark in 1895, the son of Thomas A Gamble and Eliza Gamble.
At the 1901 census, the family lived at 22 Alsace Street in Newington. There was Thomas, aged 53, who worked as a wharfinger foreman, his wife Eliza, aged 48, his son John B who was 21 and worked as a labourer, his daughter Emily E who was 16 and worked as a book folder, his son Alfred E who was 14 and worked as a book binder and William who was aged 6.
A lot had changed by the time of the 1911 census, Eliza had died and only Thomas and William now lived at 22 Alsace Street. This property has since been demolished and lies between Bagshot Street and Thurlow Walk, although there is an Alsace Road nearby today.
William joined the London Regiment of the Royal Fusiliers, fighting in the 2nd and 3rd battalions, with service number 252152. His life looked like it was on the up when he married Catherine Maud Hill who had been born on 3 March 1896. The couple lived at 14 Elizabeth Street in Walworth and they had a child William Frederick Edmund Gamble who was born on 5 July 1916.
Sadly, not long after his son’s birth, William went missing on 26 October 1917 during an attack whilst fighting on the front line. William was aged 22 and his body wasn’t found, but his life is commemorated at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium.
Catherine remarried after the First World War, marrying George Edwards. At the 1939 register, the couple and William Frederick Edmund Gamble were living at 40 Gordondale Road in Wimbledon, with William working in the book trade. It must have been enormously sad for the younger William to have never known his father, but his mother had at least managed to settle down again after her own loss.