Geoffrey Ilbert was the son of Owen and Mary Elizabeth Ilbert (née Elder).
Brother of Mr Peregrine Edward and his wife Ida Mildred Ilbert (née Wilson), of 4 Church Street, Devonport, Auckland, and Owen Lewis and Rose Dorothy Ilbert.
He married Matekino [also spelled Mate Kino] Ariari on 20 November 1911, at Auckland [This union appears to have been short-lived as Matekino remarried in 1915 to Daniel Brown].
At the time of enlistment he was working as a labourer for Mr J. Smith, a contractor, of Takapau, Hawke's Bay.
The following is Geoffrey Ilbert's wartime service history taken from his service record:
Initially attached to Wellington Infantry Regiment, with the rank of Private, on 13 November 1914.
Transferred to No. 2 Company, Divisional Train, NZ Army Service Corps (NZASC), with the rank of Driver, on 25 March 1915, Egypt.
Rejoined unit [not specified] from Zeitoun, Egypt, with the rank of Driver, on 10 August 1915.
Transferred from NZ Army Service Corps to NZ Veterinary Corps (NZVC), with the rank of Driver, on 29 October 1915, Alexandria, Egypt.
Transferred from NZ Veterinary Corps to 1 Training Battalion, with the rank of Driver, on 24 April 1916, Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt.
Embarked on HMT 'Caledonia' for France on 10 May 1916, at Alexandria, Egypt.
Joined 1 Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, with the rank of Private, on 11 July 1916, in the Field, France.
Admitted to 3 New Zealand Field Ambulance (influenza), on 3 December 1916, in the Field, France.
Discharged to Reinforcements on 19 December 1916, in the Field, France.
Rejoined 1 Battalion, Auckland Infantry Regiment, on 19 July 1916, in the Field, France.
Killed in action on 28 February 1917, in the Field, Belgium.
Geoffrey Ilbert's father, who died on 12 December 1896, was Chief Classical and English Master at Auckland Grammar School. A transcribed copy of his obituary reads as follows:
"We announce with regret the death of Mr. Owen Ilbert, M.A., Chief Classical and English Master of the Auckland College and Grammar School, which took place at his residence, Grafton Road, at 10.30 p.m. on [?] 12. Mr. Ilbert has been in failing health for some time, and twice during the present year had been granted leave of absence by the Board of Governors, and took two trips to the Islands, which to some extent restored him, and he was able to continue his work till a fortnight ago, when he broke down again and gradually sank, passing away peacefully on Saturday night. He was the third son of the late Rev. P. A. Ilbert, Rector of Thurlstone, Devonshire, and was educated at Marlborough College under Dr. Bradley, the present Dean of Westminster. On leaving school in 1865, he was elected to a classical scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, from which he graduated B.A. in 1870, after taking first-class classical honours in moderations and a second-class in the Final School of Literae Humaniores. He took his M.A. degree in 1872. After holding assistant masterships at Wellington College, Clifton College, Christ's Hospital, and Tunbridge School, he was appointed headmaster of Crediton School in Devonshire in 1884, and held that office till 1992, when delicate health compelled him to leave England. He came to Auckland at the time when Mr. Bourne was leaving for Christ's College, and the Grammar School Governors, because of his high scholarship and wide scholastic experience, appointed him to the chief classical mastership of the Grammar School. In Mr. Ilbert's death the school has lost a master of exceptional talent and of the highest character. He leaves a daughter and three sons, two of whom hold scholarships at the Grammar School. The funeral took place on Monday, the 14th of December at Waikomiti [sic] cemetery. The chief mourners were the deceased's two sons and daughter, Miss Townshend and Miss Masters. Sir Maurice O'Rorke (chairman of the Board of Governors), Professors Brown, Seager, and Egerton, Messrs, Tibbs (head master of the Auckland College and Grammar School), A. T. Harrison, Sloman, J. King Davis, Marshall, Turner, and other members of the staff were present; also Judges Seth-Smith and F. D. Fenton, Dr. King, Rev. D. Runciman (Registrar of the University), Mr. Winston, and others. The Rev. W. Beatty read the burial service at the grave." (Auckland Weekly News, 19 December 1896, p. 21)
The Memorial Plaque (Thurlestone Church, near Kingsbridge, South Devon, England) is inscribed: "In Memory of Geoffrey Arthur Ilbert PRIVATE (acting stretcher bearer) 1st Auckland Infantry Batt (New Zealand) youngest son of Owen Ilbert, grandson of the Rev. P.A. Ilbert who gave his life for his fellow men 28th February 1917 and is buried at PLOEGSTEERT in Flanders aged 33." AWMM