Gunner Adam George Seibel

Date of Birth c. 1875
Age at Death 41
Date of Death 07 March 1917
Service Number 55057
Military Service Royal Horse Artillery
Merton Address 19 College Road, Colliers Wood
Local Memorial Christ Church, Colliers Wood

Additional Information

Adam was born in Islington, London in 1875. His father, Adam Snr was a German Baker, while his mother Martha was English, born in Thatcham, Berkshire. Adam had an elder brother named Philip, a younger brother Charles, and two younger sisters, Catherine and Esther. In 1891 when Adam was 15 years of age, the family were living at 9 Ashbourne Terrace, Wimbledon. Adam was working as a Carman, while his elder brother Philip was also in work.

The 1901 census shows his family had moved to 64 North Road, South Wimbledon but Adam was not included on that Census. By 1911 Adam’s family had moved to 168a Effra Road, Wimbledon, which is the address Adam gave when he married Phoebe Alice Duff at All Saints Church, Wimbledon on 11 April 1909. Adam gave his occupation as a labourer and his age as 34, while Phoebe was aged 20.

The 1911 census for Adam shows the couple living with Phoebe's parents at 28 East Road, Wimbledon with their two children, George William, born 5 July 1909, and daughter Tiny Alexandra born 6 November 1910. Phoebe's father Andrew Duff is described as a Police Pensioner, who was born in Mauritius, and his wife Harriet is recorded as working as a Charwoman. Adam, also known as George, records that he was working as a Sewage Farm Labourer, for Croydon District Council. Other members of the large household included Phoebe's sister Elizabeth, working as a Housemaid, and other children Dorothy, Robert and William Duff, as well as a lodger, Percy Kent who was also a Sewage Farm Labourer so presumably was Adam's colleague.

The Surrey Recruitment Register records that on 23 December 1914, Adam enlisted at Wimbledon (or Kingston upon Thames - records differ) as a Gunner with the 134th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. At the time he was living at 53 Boyd Wood, Colliers Wood. He was aged 39, and described as being 5ft 7in, and weighing 150 pounds. Adam's occupation was again recorded as a Carman, a driver of horse-drawn vehicles used for transporting goods, or horse-drawn trams.

Adam served in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) with the Ammunition Column of the Royal Field Artillery, whose duties were to provide ammunition for the guns, machine guns, and rifles of its own batteries, and for other infantry brigades. It is possible that Adam died during the British Army’s advance to take Baghdad from the Ottoman forces. The British had surrendered the Mesopotamian city of Kut to the Turkish army on 29 April 1916. After this humiliating loss, the 13th Division, under General Frederick Maude, decided to retake the city, which they did on 24 February 1917. They then advanced on to Baghdad, arriving at the banks of the Diyala River on the outskirts of the city on 7 March 1917, which they attempted to cross using pontoons. This was the day Adam was killed in action aged 41. The Turkish army, led by Khalil Pasha held the opposite bank. The British finally crossed the Diyala River, and took Baghdad on 11 March 1917. Adam has no known grave, but he is commemorated on the Basra Memorial in Iraq and locally at Christ Church, Colliers Wood.

Adam's widow Phoebe received £2, 14 shillings 9 pence from his pay and £9, 10 shillings as a war gratuity. The electoral roll for 1932 records Phoebe living with her two children at 19 College Road, Colliers Wood. Adam’s daughter, Tiny Alexandra married Joseph Timmermans in 1933 and died in 1990 at the age of 79.


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