Gilbert Collingwood Dickins
Rifleman, London Regiment
Gilbert Collingwood Dickins studied at Alleyn’s until 1910 and lived with his parents, Florence and John, at Belmont, Skinners Lane, Ashstead. He joined the war effort as part of the London Regiment, serving with 1/5th Battalion, London Rifle Brigade. During his time with the LRB, Gilbert served overseas on the Western Front and took part in the major British offensive on the Somme in July 1916. As part of the British plan of attack, a number of secondary offensives were organised to take place alongside the main offensive and it was hoped that these smaller operations would divert German troops from the main attack. Gilbert took part in one such operation at Gommecourt which was intended to protect the northern flank of the main Somme operation by the Fourth Army. The attack was successful in diverting German units but this came at an extremely high cost, with the British suffering heavy casualties and achieving no gains by the end of the day. Unfortunately, Gilbert was killed during the operation on July 1st 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.