King Alfonso XIII and the search for Private Albert Gilbert.

King Alfonso XIII of Spain

Title: King Alfonso XIII of Spain
Description: by-nc

The St Mary’s, Stoke D’Abernon, parish magazine recorded the sad story of Ada Gilbert’s search for her husband, Albert.  In August 1918 it was reported that:

Albert Gilbert, husband of Mrs Gilbert, has been for many months a prisoner of war in Germany. Mrs Gilbert heard from several sources in Germany and we think officially that he was dead. Through the kindness of a friend the King of Spain was told of the circumstances and the King at once made enquiries through his ambassador at Berlin, and the Ambassador made a personal investigation with the result that he reported on June 20th that Albert Gilbert was alive. This seems strong evidence that he is alive, although no letter has come through for many months. We recognise with gratitude this kind act of the King of Spain in making the enquiry.

However, it seems that Mrs Gilbert remained convinced of her husband’s death, and the following month it was recorded that:

It is our sad duty to record the death of Mrs Gilbert, who passed away after a brief illness in the Caterham Cottage Hospital. We cannot but think that the anxiety concerning her husband greatly weighted upon her mind and hastened the end. At the last she seemed convinced that her husband had passed beyond the veil, and seemed happy in the thought of meeting him there. Mrs Gilbert was but 25 years of age, ripe as we believe in spiritual life though young in age.

It seems that Mrs Gilbert was correct in her assumption and Albert’s death is officially recorded as having taken place on 28 November 1917.


St Mary’s, Stoke D’Abernon, Parish Magazine, August and September 1918, SHC Ref. 8909/8/1/4.



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