Below is the first blog post I recently contributed to my new spiritual home of a website, the wonderful Cemetery Club. I opted not to venture into the history of London’s cemeteries and the ever-growing need for burial space. I don’t need to, as this topic has already been covered in the excellent existing posts by Sheldon, Christina and Caroline.
Instead I've posted mini biographies about two of the interesting characters I came across whilst researching Streatham Cemetery (located in Tooting and not to be confused with Streatham Park Cemetery, which I’ll be covering in my next blog). Sheldon and I only located one grave of the two people I’ll be writing about but we still enjoyed an excellent outing to a thoroughly lovely and well-maintained cemetery.
Picture from Great War London
Gilbert “Gibb” William Roger Mapplebeck’s only calling was to be a pilot. Even before the devastating outbreak of WWI Gibb had already learned to fly, earning his Royal Aero Club’s flying certificate at the tender age of 19. Following his father’s career path as a Liverpool dentist was not on the cards for Gibb who, at 6'3", was “possessed of a personal charm that endeared him to many”. Within the next two years, Gibb’s skill and courage made him a real life 'Top Gun' who enjoyed such distinctions of flying in the RFC’s seminal reconnaissance mission in August 1914, and later becoming the first pilot to bomb enemy lines in Flanders.