I was recently chatting with the great-nephew of a Wing Commander who served as Lieutenant with the 1/6 Dorsetshire Regiment and was brought down by The Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, on 25 March 1917.
Guy's father, John Brettell Gilbert, changed his name by Deed Poll in 1892. He was born John Wilkes in 1854, the son of Gilbert Wilkes [1829-1882], a wealthy Birmingham manufacturer.
Guy had seven brothers; sadly two were killed in action during the war.
His brother Major Vivian Gilbert travelled with General Allenby to Jerusalem and wrote a book in 1923 called 'The Romance of the Last Crusade'
|Major Vivian Gilbert|
|The Red Baron|
There is some disagreement as to how The Red Baron died on Sunday, 21 April 1918, but the man officially credited by the RAF with bringing his red Fokker tri-plane down is Captain Arthur “Roy” Brown. Von Richthofen was hit by a single bullet, but didn’t die instantly. The .303 bullet penetrated his left armpit causing a fatal chest wound. Brown was attacking from above and from the left, but the bullet came from below and to the right. The plane's engine had been switched off and he managed to land it in a field near to the Bray-Corbie Road just north of Vaux-sur-Somme. Sergeant Ted Smout of the Australian Medical Corps reported that Von Richtofen’s last word was “kaput.” It is almost certain that a Royal Australian Artillary machine-gunner killed The Red Baron.