William is not remembered on the war memorial at Christchurch Park.

Image and information courtesy of Jim Gill


Born: 1879, Ipswich.

Died: 21st August 1917; age: 38; KiA.

Residence: Colchester, Essex.


Rank: Second Lieutenant.

Regiment: Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Regiment, 2/1st Buckinghamshire Battalion – Territorial.


Grave Reference:


New Irish Farm Cemetery,




Relatives Notified and Address: Son of William & Elizabeth Gill, of Colchester; husband of Jessie Gill, of 202, Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex.




1891   ‘Maldune’ Maldon Road, St. Mary at the Walls, Colchester, Essex.


William was 11 years old and living with his parents and sisters.

William Gill, 37, a Photographer & Artist – employer, born Islington, London.

Elizabeth Charlotte Gill (nee Rey), 36, born King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Elizabeth Nora Gill, 10, born Ipswich.

Enid Gill, 4, born Colchester – died 1897, Colchester.

1 general domestic servant.


1901   160, Maldon Road, St. Mary at the Walls, Colchester, Essex.


William was 21 years old, a Photographer. He was living with his parents and siblings.

William, 47, a Photographer.

Elizabeth, 45.

Elizabeth, 20, a Photographer.

Muriel Gill, 9, born Colchester.

Beryl Gill, 6, born Colchester.

Alan Gill, 3, born Colchester.

1 general domestic servant.

Postcard. The proclamation of the accession of King George V of the United Kingdom in Colchester, 1911, showing mayor and corporation. The shop on the left was run by William Gill snr (photo believed to be taken by W.Gill snr).

1911   41, Harsnett Road, Colchester, Essex.


William was 31 years old, a Photographer. He was married and Head of the Household.

Jessie, 29.

1 visitor.


On the 5th April 1909, William arrived at the Port of Philadelphia, he was 29 years & 4 months old, and a photographer. He could read & write. He had sailed from the Port of Liverpool on board the S.S.’ Friesland.’ His next of kin: Mr. W. Gill, of 142, Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex.


William’s father, William Gill died February 1912, at Portland House, 15, Fitzroy Square, London. Probate to William Rey Gill


In 1906, Camberwell, London, William married Jessie Riviere, born 1881, Lambeth, London.


Probate to Jessie Gill – widow.


Soldiers’ Effects to Jessie Gill – widow.


New Church Life 1917 magazine:

‘The loss of Mr. Rey Gill, who was killed in action on August 21st [1917], will be keenly felt by the organisation of the General Church in England. He will chiefly be remembered in the Church as an earnest student of the Writings and as an original thinker. During his service at the front he participated in numerous raids and encounters, and eventually fell at the head of his men in one of those minor engagements, which, lacking a local name, are yet the essential and daily part of a war of attrition. Few, prior to the actual test, would have credited him with military ability, but it is known from the testimony of his superiors that he showed coolness, bravery, and leadership in times of need, and his bearing and resource had won words of commendation from his chiefs.’


  • William Rey Gill, was born at Ipswich in the last quarter of 1879, eldest child of the eight children of William Gill (1854-23 February 1912), a photographer and artist, and his wife Elizabeth Charlotte, nee Rey (1856-1934), a teacher, who married at Norwich in the first quarter of 1879. The family were living in Ipswich for the birth of young William and his sister Elizabeth Nora in early 1881, but shortly afterwards they moved to Colchester, Essex and living at Mauldine, Errington Road, Colchester in 1891 and where Elizabeth died on 29 March 1934. Young William married at Camberwell, Surrey in 1906, Jessie Riviere (12 July 1881-11 June 1972) and they lived at 202 Maldon Road, Colchester, Essex, where Jessie died in 1972. In 1909, young William travelled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but by 1911, was back in England, a 31 year old photographer, living at 41 Harsnett Road, Colchester. During the First World War, firstly a cadet then a 2nd Lieutenant in the 28th London Regiment, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was was killed in action in Belgium on 21 August 1917, aged 38. Stated to be a photographer & artist, but was probably a photographic artist, his father however was a miniature painter & photographer.

    William Gill, FRPS, was an English photographer, based in Colchester but born in Islington, London. At the time of his death, Gill was President of the Professional Photographers’ Association. A contributor to a number of magazines, and his death was widely reported in photographic circles, such as by Wilson’s ‘Photographic Magazine’.

  • William is related to me on my family tree. Beryl Gill was my Grandmother.

    • My late mother Adeline Neale lived at 202 Maldon Road from 1983-2018 till her death.

  • I am so pleased and appreciative to discover this information and website, especially on Remembrance Day 2020. William Rey Gill was my great uncle (my grandfather was Alan, uncle Rey’s young brother).

    My family thanks Uncle Rey for his sacrifice, bravery and commitment to keeping our countries safe and free. He lives on in our memories.

    Mark Gill, Ottawa, Canada

  • I have an original picture taken by William Gill FRPS of Colchester. Happy to return to the family. The picture is of Rev. Wilkinson who served in the Gallipoli campaign.


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