Gilbert Edward Robinson Meakin, RFC

1895 Mar 7. Born Shardlow, Derbys

1901 census at 40 Park Rd, Spondon, Derbys

1911 census at New House Cottesmore House Oundle. At boarding school.

1914 Oct 26 Gazetted 2nd Lt in Royal Fusiliers. Gilbert Edward Robinson Meakin. Never promoted

RAF Record

1915 Jul 3. From Lieut. A T P Adams, R.F.C., Wierickerschans Bij Bodegraven, Holland. ‘‘As you may hare seen in a minute paragraph in last Tuesday’s papers, a terrible misfortune has befallen two of us, and yet things were very nearly much worse. On Saturday, July 3rd. I set sail from St. Omer with one. Meakin, as observer, for a long distance reconnaissance to Ghent, one of the journeys I have often carried out. Nothing unusual happened going out, except that the Hun shooting at us was unusually bad, and at mid-day I was just making for the southern part of the city, at 7,40Oft., in order to take a photograph, when suddenly the engine slowed down. In one second-knowing the symptona only too well, I had swung round in the direction of the nearest front in Holland, rather more than 15 niiles away. A horrible grinding noise proceeded from the engine as we ran for it, rapidly losing height and leaving beliind a thick trail of black smoke and steam. The Huns must have noticed our predicament, for they started shelling us. We were not thinking of “Archies” though, and anyhow their shooting was’nt good. It seemed an utterly hopeless task to clear the frontier, a row of trees in the distance, which was painfully distinct as were all the landmarks shown ~ The fifteen minutes occupied in gliding down seemed like a lifetime. The sharp crack of bullets was a very welcome sound. It showed that we were very near the frontier. We cleared that frontier by about 150 ft. and landed only 600 yards in Holland. Nor could we have gone another inch. Of course the frontier guards had hit our machine - even Land- sturmers could scarcely miss at 150 feet-but they missed us although they fired until we had almost landed. There was chance of escape, and so we burnt our machine (as we are ordered to do even on neutral soil) much to the annoyance of the Dutch. As we refused our parole we are now in an old fort together with six of our fellows, two of the R.N.A.S., and about forty of the R.N.D. (from the Antwerp affair last October). The thought of being left out of the rest of the war is at present unthinkable, and I would cheerfully change places with anyone in the Army. We are surrounded by a moat (which provides excellent swimming on parole), lots of barbed wire, 200 soldiers (some on both sides of the moat) and brilliant lights at night. The food is excellent and we get tennis, billiards, a piano, a pianola and a gramophone, and as much leave as we like to go anywhere in Holland on parole.

1915 Jul 6. Officially reported missing and unofficially reported interned in Holland. He flew RE5 with serial nos. 631 & 674 with 7 Squadron . 2Lt GER Meakin

1918 Oct 5. He was repatriated back to UK

1921 May 12. Joined ADRIC with service no 1952. Posted to A Coy. This was a clerical error, in fact he joined the RIC and not the ADRIC. Gilbert E. R. Meakin May 11-1921 to Aug. 31-1922 with service no. 82767. The entry was cancelled

1921 May 20. Transferred to RIC Transport. "wrongly attested to ADRIC"

1924 Jan/Mar . Married in Shardlow, Derbys to Esther H Smyth

1939 Register. A Motor Engineer living at 196 Streetsbrook Road , Solihull U.D., Warwickshire. With wife Esther

1962 Jan 23. Died in Warwickshire


WO 339/24243