LANCE CORPORAL SIDNEY CLAUDE GILBERT
3RD JULY 1916 AGE 21
BURIED: OVILLERS MILITARY CEMETERY, SOMME, FRANCE
Henry Hannaford Scholey chose a beautifully phrased, fatalistic statement from Shakespeare's 'Anthony and Cleopatra' for his brother's headstone inscription. It comes from Act III. vi. 82. Caesar tells his sister Octavia:
Be ye not troubled with the time, which drives
O'er your content these strong necessities;
But let determined things to destiny
Hold unbewailed their way.
Abraham Lincoln might have put it more prosaically but fundamentally he was saying much the same thing when he would quote one of his favourite aphorisms: "What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree".
Lance Corporal Gilbert was killed on the third day of the Somme campaign. At 3 am on the morning of 3 July, the 10th Worcestershire Regiment attacked at La Boiselle. The attack witnessed savage hand to hand fighting and saw two Victoria Crosses awarded. By the end of the day the Worcesters had taken the village - and 116 men from the battalion had been killed .
Henry Hannaford Scholey was Sidney Claude Gilbert's brother (and by the time he chose his brother's inscription he had emigrated to Australia). Sidney's parents were called Max and Helen Scholey, so why was he called Sidney Gilbert? I don't know the answer but it looks as though the Scholey family had begun to disintegrate by 1901. Helen Scholey was dead: Max Scholey was now married to someone called Winnie and they had a one-year-old child called Hector. By 1911 Hector was living with his married step-sister and there is no sign of Max or Winnie. And, in neither the 1901 or the 1911 census is there any mention of a child called Sidney Claude Scholey. Yet, in the UK Register of Soldiers' Effects, Sidney's name appears as Sidney Claude Gilbert, alias Scholey. And what is more, he's definitely of the correct family because he leaves his money divided between his brothers and sisters, including little Hector.