Albert Gammell

Albert Gammell was the 10th and youngest child of Captain James Gammell of Ardiffery and his wife Sydney Holmes. He was born in Edinburgh on 27 July 1840. He received his first education at a preparatory school in Circus Place in Edinburgh, and from there followed his brothers to Edinburgh Academy, where he was a pupil from 1851 to 1854 . He then attended the Scottish Naval and Military Academy, winning prizes in 1856 for writing and drawing, but unlike his brothers, he does not appear to have joined the armed forces. Eventually however he evidently decided to seek his fortune overseas, and sailed for Jamaica, where he worked, probably as a manager, in the sugar plantations.  


On 18 March 1863 he married Agnes Kidd Close in Falmouth, Jamaica when he was working at the Kent sugar estate. Agnes was the daughter of the Rev Isaac Close who up to his death in 1860, had been the incumbent of Kirkby Ravensworth, Yorkshire. Agnes was probably visiting Jamaica, since as a young woman both of whom's parents had died, her "prospects" in the UK were limited, and her brother (George Wharton Close) was established as a doctor in Jamaica.


Shortly after they got married, they evidently returned briefly to England before going back to Jamaica, where their only child, Sydney Albert Wharton Gammell was born on 20 February 1864.


It is probable that on his return to Jamaica, Albert joined the police service.  It was a period when sugar estates were in decline and we know that he was a sergeant in the police in December 1866.


Unfortunately Albert died of fever on 14 June 1868 at the age of 27, when this son was only four years old, . At the time of his death, he was a Police Sub-Inspector in Spanish Town. He is buried at the cathedral in Spanish Town, Jamaica.  In his will he left everything to his wife, Agnes.


After Albert's death, Agnes married again in Jamaica to George Phillpotts Brown, by whom she had two sons (George Samuel Phillpotts Brown 1870-1967; and Henry Isaac Close Brown 1874-1962) and a daughter (Elizabeth Charlotte Margaret Brown (Cox) 1877-1903). Agnes died on 3 June 1932 in Jamaica.

Albert above and Agnes below. Photos probably late 1863 when they evidently returned briefly to England (Frank Gourlay)