Gamble, Hugh (No. 1476586)

Gamble, Hugh


No. 1476586, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery

Killed in action on Saturday 26 April 1941 (aged 28)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Athens Memorial, Greece (Face 2)

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

Newtownards and District War Memorial


Hugh Gamble was born on 20 November 1912 and he was a son of David and Jane Gamble (nee Dempster) who lived at 80 East Street, and later in Corry Street, Newtownards.  During the First World War David Gamble served as a Private with the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers and he died in a German Prisoner-of-War Camp on 25 August 1916 (aged 31).

Prior to the outbreak of the First World War David Gamble worked as a general labourer and he and Jane Dempster were married on 1 January 1909 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.  Jane Dempster already had two children – Georgina Dempster (born in 1899) and David Dempster (born in 1901).

David and Jane Gamble (nee Dempster) had at least four children, three of whom were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards:

Mary Ann (born 12 April 1909 in Conlig; died of pertussis 10 March 1911)

James (born 3 September 1910 in West Street, Newtownards)

Hugh (born 20 November 1912 in East Street, Newtownards)

William John (born 1 July 1914 in Gibson’s Lane, Newtownards)

In 1911 the Gamble family was living at 91 East Street, Newtownards along with Jane’s daughter Georgina Dempster (born 3 January 1899 in Ballykeigle) and her son David Dempster (born 3 July 1901 in Carrickmannon).  After their mother got married, both Georgina and David changed their surnames from Dempster to Gamble.  After Hugh’s father David died in 1916 his widowed mother Jane moved to Whitespots, Newtownards.

Hugh Gamble and Mary Ann Miskimmins Melville were married on 17 June 1938 in Groomsport Parish Church of Ireland Church and they lived in Murdoch’s Lane, Cottown, Bangor.  Hugh worked on Murdoch’s Farm and he and Mary Ann had two children, Ella and Jean.  Ella was two years old when her father died, and Jean was just six months old.  Hugh never saw his daughter Jean and she died of rheumatic fever when she was 16.

Gunner Hugh Gamble (No. 1476586) was already in the Army before the outbreak of the Second World War.  During the war he served with the Royal Artillery and initially he was reported as missing in action in Greece.  Some seven months later it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action on 26 April 1941.  His widow placed a Killed on Active Service notice in the 22 November 1941 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and then Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices each year thereafter in an April edition of the same newspaper.

The 1941 notice contained the verse:

Sleep on, dear husband, in your foreign grave,

A grave we may never see,

But as long as life and memory last,

We will remember thee.

The 1942 notice contained the verse:

At night when all is silent,

And I am all alone,

I often sit and think of you,

And think you will come home.

The 1943 notice contained the verse:

A loving husband, true and kind,

Missed by those he left behind;

Forget him, no, I never will,

As time rolls on I love him still.

We lost our best and dearest friend, dear Daddy, when we lost you.

The 1944 notice contained the verse:

Many a lonely heartache, many a silent tear

Love’s last gift – Remembrance

The 1945 notice contained the verse:

Somebody loves you,

Somebody cares,

Your name is whispered in your little ones’ prayers.

Loving hearts remember you.

Gunner Hugh Gamble was 28 when he died, and he is commemorated on the Athens Memorial in Greece; on Donaghadee and District War Memorial and on Newtownards and District War Memorial.