Jack Hayden Gibson

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Jack Hayden Gibson
Gibson Jack Hayden.jpg
Western Mail
Personal Information
Date of Birth 29 Oct 1896
Place of Birth Sydney, New South Wales
Death 19 Jul 1967 aged 70
Place of Death South Perth
Age at Enlistment 18 years, 11 months
Description 5' 11" (1.80m) tall ; 144 lbs
65.317 kg
; fair complexion ; grey eyes ; light brown hair
Occupation Farm hand
Religion Church of England
Address Quairading, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr John Arthur Gibson
Military Information
Reg Number 4276
Date of Enlistment 20 Sep 1915
Rank Lieutenant
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 13th Reinforcement transferred to 4th MG Battalion, 12th Machine Gun Company
Date of Embarkation 29 Jan 1916 ‒ 26 Feb 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A54 Runic Fremantle to Alexandria
Date of Return 24 Aug 1918 ‒ 24 Oct 1918
Ship Returned On SS City of Karachi
Fate Wounded in Action 30 Aug 1916 Mouquet Farm
Wounded in Action 28 Mar 1918 Hebuterne
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (North panel)
Roleystone Honour Board
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

A previous resident of Kelmscott with his original NOK (father) still living there at the time of his enlistment.

War Service

On entering Blackboy Hill camp on 20 Sep 1915 Jack was allocated to the 30th Depot Company for the first part of his training. After five weeks of basic training Jack was allocated to the 13th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion, travelling with them to Egypt. There are no notations in his records to cover the three months he spent in Egypt other than to say that he was initially sent to Zeitoun and that when he embarked it was as a member of the 12th Machine Gun Company who embarked aboard HMT Kingstonian for France on 2 Jun 1916, arriving in Marseilles on 11 Jun 1916.

During the night of 30 Aug 1916 the 12th Machine Gun Company was in the front line, left of Pozières, with two guns left as reserve with the 45th Battalion's Headquarters. On 31 Aug 1916 a third of the company was replaced in the line by the Canadian 1st Machine Gun Company. There is no notation in the unit's War Diary of casualties on the 30th, and given that Jack's injuries were a severe Gunshot wound to his back, his injury perhaps occurred when they were moving into position late on 29 Aug 1916. Treated at the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station on 30 Aug 1916 he was placed on Ambulance Train No. 28 for the 8th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux. Admitted on 1 Sep 1916, he was evacuated to England aboard HMHS St Andrew from Rouen on 4 Sep 1916.

Admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital at Stourbridge in Devon on 5 Sep 1916 he was transferred on 16 Nov 1916 to the 2nd Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Wareham. Jack was discharged from hospital on 13 Mar 1917 to the No. 3 Command Depot at Hurdcott. On 22 Mar 1917 he was temporarily attached to the Headquarters of the No. 3 Command Depot and on 17 May 1917 he was well enough to be put back in the mix at the Perham Downs Drafting Depot, and four days later he was transferred to the Machine Gun Training Depot at Grantham. There it was decided that he would be sent for Officer Training.

Successful, he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant on 7 Nov 1917, and posted to the 12th Machine Gun Company (soon to be part of the 4th Machine Gun Battalion), proceeding overseas first to the Machine Gun Base Depot at Camiers from Folkestone on 26 Jan 1918, and then on 29 Jan 1918 to the 12th Machine Gun Company which at the time was at Siege Farm near Kemmel in Belgium. Prior to embarking it appeared that he had married in England, as his NOK changed on 1 Dec 1917 to wife, Mrs Elizabeth Mary Gibson at Grove Villa, Connaught road, Brookwood, Surrey.

Jack was promoted Lieutenant on 7 Feb 1918 when they were in the line near Hollebeke. With the strong German advance underway, the 12th Machine Gun Company had left Meteren, Belgium on 24 Mar 1918 for the Somme to play a role in stopping the strong German advance on Amiens. Jack was wounded a second time on 28 Mar 1918 when his company was in action east of Lavieville. He was in command of 2 of "A" Section's Vickers machine guns. During an action when they were outnumbered by the enemy the width of a railway embankment away, Jack was sent to locate a suitable fall back position for the section. It was at this point that he was wounded, with a Gunshot wound to his right knee.

He was treated by the 13th Field Ambulance on the day of injury and then passed on the next day to the 3rd Australian Casualty Clearing Station (29 Mar 1918) before being transferred by Ambulance Train to the 20th General Hospital at Dannes-Camiers just north of Étaples from 29 - 31 Mar 1918. From there he was evacuated on 31 Mar 1918 aboard the HS Jan Breydel to England and the 3rd London General Hospital. On 9 May 1918 he was transferred to Cobham Hall, a convalescent centre for officers.

On recovery he was placed on a list of those returning early to Australia. His trip home was via Melbourne, with his Appointment terminated at the 5th Military District on 7 Jun 1919. His records do not indicate if Elizabeth travelled with him, or came to Australia later.

Post War

1925 Electoral Roll lists Jack as a building contractor at Muradup; 1931-43 with Elizabeth Mary at 99 River street, Como - a salesman; 1949 street now named Douglas avenue, and daughter Margaret Winifred living with them. Address remains unchanged until his death. Elizabeth lived there until her death in 1993 aged 101.

Jack also served in the Citizen Military Forces during WW2 as a Captain with Service Number W242890 at the Marrinup POW Camp from 9 Oct 1939 until 16 Nov 1945.

Jack and Elizabeth returned to Fremantle from London on 21 Nov 1955 aboard the SS Himalaya, arriving home on 14 Dec 1955.


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