The name of J Gill is inscribed on the South Reddish and Stockport War Memorials. In the latter case, the name is amongst those serving with “other regiments” (those which are not separately recorded on the Memorial); in the former he is identified as serving with the RAMC. Although it cannot be said for certain, research indicates that they are probably the same man and that he is the soldier identified above.
The website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists four men called J Gill who died during the War whilst serving with the RAMC. Three of them appear to have definite family connections with other parts of the country and, whilst there must be the possibility that one of them was commemorated locally for unknown reasons, it seems unlikely. The fourth man is John Gill, as shown above. It has not been possible to confirm that he had any known connection with the area – Gill was born in Bradford, Yorkshire and enlisted in Llandudno. Nothing is known of his place of residence and, assuming he is the man commemorated locally, then he had presumably moved to the area some time during his life.
The Field Ambulance units of the RAMC were not as we might think of an ambulance today. They maintained the Advanced Dressing Stations for the infantry divisions of the army and were situated a little way behind the front line. They were staffed by doctors, who would carry out some emergency surgery if it was absolutely necessary before a casualty could be evacuated to the far better facilities of a field hospital. They also provided parties of stretcher bearers who, again, would work behind the front line, from “bearer relay posts”, receiving casualties brought by Battalion stretcher bearers and taking them back to the Dressing Station.
John Gill was at one of these relay stations at Bronfay Farm, near the Somme village of Bray when he was killed, most probably by enemy shellfire. He has no known grave.