Air Mechanic
Bertie Gear


About Bertie

  • Name
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    12 November 1883
  • Birth town
    Ilfracombe, Devon
  • Resided town
    Ilfracombe Devon and Southsea Hants
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Ilfracombe, Devon
  • Date of death
    3 October 1939
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Motor Driver

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
    Air Mechanic
  • Regiment
    Royal Flying Corps


Bertie was born in Berrynarbor, Ilfracombe, Devon on 12 November 1883, to parents John and Jane Gear. In the 1901 Census he was listed as a labourer, aged 23 living at 7 Woodstock Terrace, Ilfracombe with his parents. His father was a gardener.

Bertie married Althea Florence Ellen Hicks on 7 February 1909, at Fareham, Southampton and in 1911 they were living at 14 Beatrice Road, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth with their 14 month old son Harold. Bertie, aged 27 years, was working as a dockyard general labourer.

Before the outbreak of WW1, Bertie joined the Devon Artillery on 19 June 1900, having been previously with the 1st Devon Volunteer Artillery. He embodied on 6 August 1900 and disembodied on 17 October 1900 before being discharged by purchase on 11 September 1902, with a very good character rating.

On 8 August 1916, Bertie enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps as Airman Mechanic Second Class for the duration of the war.  In April 1918, he was transferred to the Royal Air Force (RAF)and promoted to Acting Corporal. In January 1919, he was re-classified as Corporal Driver, 102 Squadron at the RAF Reinforcement Camp at Arques near St Omer, France. He was finally transferred to the RAF Reserve in September 1919.

Bertie and Althea had three children, Harold (1910), Leslie (1912) and Lorna (1920).

In the 1939 Register Bert Gear was living at 26 Watermouth Road, Ifracombe, Devon and was listed as a haulage contractor.  He was living with his wife, Nellie and son Leslie Gear, a lorry driver.

Bertie died on 3 October 1939, aged 57, at 26 Watermouth Road, Hele, Ilfracombe, Devon.

Is this story familiar? Can you tell us more about Bertie? Please get in touch if you can help.

Campaign Medals

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