Philip Edward Victor Gilbert CB

Philip Gilbert, born in 1835, joined the 13th Light Infantry in Jan 1854 and went out to the Crimea where he served with them at Sevastopol. He fought with them in the Indian Mutiny in 1858. At Toolespore on 23 December he was, with the rank of lieutenant, in command of the company of skirmishers advancing on the village. When they were within 50 paces of the enemy position he ordered the men to fix bayonets and charge. They captured a 6-pounder gun and limber and killed or dispersed the gunners. One sepoy close to Lt Gilbert shot himself dead rather than be captured. On 28 March 1859 he commanded a party that made an arduous ascent of hills to reinforce the 3rd Sikhs and 27th Punjabis, helping the disperse the enemy. In South Africa 1877-9 he was a major and commanded 3 companies of the regiment, which with artillery and mounted infantry made a forced march from Pretoria to Utrecht, a distance of 220 miles in 15 days, in the summer heat of December 1877. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and given command of the 1st Battalion in May 1878. Under his command the regiment fought at Tolyana Stadt on 27 Oct 1878 and at Kambula on 29 March 1879. Due to ill health, however he was sent home to England on 1 April 1879. For his services in the Zulu War he was made CB.

When the 1st Battalion returned home in Sep 1879 there was a reshuffle of command in which Lt-Col England exchanged battalions with Lt-Col Gilbert so that on 3 Dec England became CO of the 1st Battalion and Gilbert became CO of the 2nd. Lieut-Colonel Gilbert joined them for duty in India on 19 Jan 1881. In September 1881 the battalion suffered from Cholera at Kamptee and had to move out of barracks to go under canvas. Colonel Gilbert CB retired on 1 May 1883, handing over command to Lt-Col Knox Leet VC. He was promoted to Major-General and died in 1895.

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by Stephen Luscombe