Gilbert died on 21 July 2000 one month prior to his 71st birthday in Cleveland.
He enlisted into the Royal Armoured Corps on 6 August 1947 and after the usual basic training at PTC and 57th Training Regiment RAC at Catterick, he was posted to the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars on 6 February 1948.
Gilbert had qualified as a Driver Class III. On 20 August 1948, he sailed with his regiment aboard HMT Dilwara from Southampton bound for Singapore. After a couple of weeks there in a transit camp, he moved into peninsular Malaya with ‘A’ Squadron.
Initially, they were stationed at Ipoh, service followed the usual pattern of assisting the civic powers in the fight against Communist-inspired insurgents. This assistance included the escort of civil lorries carrying food and supplies, some journeys into the jungle and about three times a year carrying civilian schoolchildren in the armoured personnel carriers between Tapah railway station and the Shim School in the Cameron Highlands.
This continued until February 1951 when Gilbert went with ‘B’ Squadron to the New Territories Hong Kong to take over from ‘A’ Squadron. He returned with his squadron to Malaya a few weeks prior to the 4th Hussars embarking at Singapore for the UK.
After a year on Salisbury Plain and Castlemartin Gilbert completed his five years Regular engagement and moved onto the Reserve. But this was not to be the end of Gilbert’s Army service. He joined the RACITA on 3 May 1988 and served with the Queen’s Own Yorkshire Yeomanry (TA).