LANCE CORPORAL GEOFFREY DAMEREL GIDLEY
LONDON REGIMENT (QUEEN VICTORIA'S RIFLES)
30TH MAY 1916 AGE 20
BURIED: DOULLENS COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION NO. 1, TANZANIA
This is Kipling - do you recognise it? If you can keep your head, trust yourself, dream, think ... meet with triumph and disaster, force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone ... :
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!
This is Kipling's poem 'If', written in 1895. Strangely, for all its popularity, I've not come across any reference to the poem in an inscription before.
Geoffrey Gidley was the second youngest of George and Annie Gidley's seven children. Some might think he was a man already because he was out at work, as a clerk in a barrister's office, by the time he was 14 in 1911.
As it was, he joined the 9th Battalion London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) on the outbreak of war. Went with them to France on 17 August 1915 and died of wounds, aged 20 in a Casualty Clearing Station on 30 May 1916.