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  • The Bullecourt Digger was erected in 1992 to commemorate Australian losses in the area 75 years earlier.
Person Details
Nottingham
He was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Gamble and the brother of Mary, Fanny (who was born at sea in the Thames estuary) and Nellie Gamble. In 1901 they lived at 43 Burns Street Nottingham. Thomas was a self employed lace manufacturer. In 1911 the family, but not Bertie, lived at 12 Musters Road West Bridgford Nottingham. Thomas was an embroidery manufacturer and Elizabeth a boarding house keeper. They had two lodgers.
09 Apr 1917
27
Corporal
Australian Infantry (AIF)
Although Gamble's unit is unknown it seems certain from his date of death that he was killed as Australian forces attacked German lines near Bullecourt on the Hindenburg Line. The Australians advanced without artillery support in order to surprise the enemy but the attack was a costly failure. George Deane Mitchell recalled ‘This was to be a silent attack without artillery. We saw the tanks over on the right – big black blurs outlined sharply against the snow... Their droning noise aroused the German lines. Big shells smashed among us. Our platoon commander, Caldwell, got it first. Others staggered back looking like snowmen save where blood showed black. “Advance!”... A tornado of thunder and flame fell upon us, beyond anything I had known or imagined. Close as trees in an orchard were the trees of flame. The blast of one shell would send me reeling forward, while another would halt me with a wave of driven air. A headless man fell at my feet, and as I rolled over him a sheet of flame fanned over with blinding light. A score of men just in front melted in bloody fragments as a big-calibre shell landed. The air was dense with crackling bullets, and thick with the blood-chilling stink of explosives. The plain was carpeted with bodies, mostly lying still, but some crawling laggingly for cover. A man cannoned into me and fell leaving a bloody patch on my shoulder.’ Source: Backs to the Walls: A Larrikin on the Western Front (1937) by George Deane Mitchell A second assault near Bullecourt, launched on May 7th, was more successful but 10,000 Australians fell in the fields around the village in seven weeks.
Nottingham Evening Post obituary (abridged) 16 April 1917: ‘Gamble. Killed in action April 9th Corporal Bert (Sonny) Gamble, AIF, age 27, only son of Tom and Elizabeth Gamble, Forest Road.’ This record has been compiled from a Nottingham Evening Post obituary, Free BMD and census data. CWGC has no record of Bertie Gamble's death in action. Gamble's mother was fom South Australia and his sister Mary was born in Adelaide. Bertie seems to have emigrated between 1901 and 1911 and may well have lodged in the first instance with maternal relatives. Research by David Nunn and Rachel Farrand
Remembered on

Photos

  • The Bullecourt Digger was erected in 1992 to commemorate Australian losses in the area 75 years earlier.
    Photo David Nunn - The Bullecourt Digger was erected in 1992 to commemorate Australian losses in the area 75 years earlier.
  • Plaque on the Bullecourt Digger plinth.
    Photo David Nunn - Plaque on the Bullecourt Digger plinth.