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McGibbon, W.P., 2nd Lieut., 1917

Officer Cadets passing Out at Romford 1917

Artist Rifle's War Memorial

Medal Index Card

Tyne Cot Memorial

On the Tyne Cot Memorial is the name of 761798 2nd Lieutenant William Patrick McGibbon, serving with the 4th (Extra Reserve), Battalion Durham Light Infantry, was attached to the 20th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, who died 23/09/1917.

William Patrick McGibbon was born at Glasgow, the youngest son of the late John McGibbon, of the Royal Bank of Scotland, and his wife Margaret, [Cathcart, Glasgow] daughter of James Morrison, on the 7th December 1883.

He was educated at the John Street Elementary School and High School, Glasgow. There is mention of William Patrick M'Gibbon winning a prize in 1897-98 for arithmetic, algebra and geometry. Residing then at 145 Greenhead Terrace, Glasgow.

The 1891 census shows a 7 year old William P. McGibbon, parents John (Bank teller) and Margaret, registered at 112 Greenhead Street. He entered as an apprentice at Trongate, Glasgow branch in July 1899, age 16. The 1901 census shows the same William P. McGibbon (age 17) at 211 Greenhead Street, working as a bank apprentice.

He worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland for six years. In 1903, he transferred to Exchange Square branch and resigned in February 1905.

He was employed by the Royal Bank of Canada from September 14th, 1914 at its London Office. William was married at Eltham on the 6th November 1915, to Millie Beatrice of 42 Gourock Road, Eltham, who was the daughter of Alfred William Gardner, of Eltham, formerly of Lee.

William enlisted in the 4th Special Reserve Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry. He joined the 2/28th Battalion, Artists Rifles in February 1916, [between the dates February 17th to March 1st 1916], service number 7513, and after training at Romford, was gazetted a 2nd Lieutenant in the Durham Light Infantry, on the 20th December 1916.

He went to France with the British Expeditionary Forces on the 6th February 1917.

War Diary entry reads as follows " About 3pm the enemy advanced over Tower Hamlets Ridge to counter-attack, but were driven back by our rifle and Lewis gun-fire, which inflicted heavy casualties. Three counter-attacks were attempted. About 4pm. the enemy barraged the forward slope of the ridge in rear of Basseville-Beek, and later put up a box barrage on our position. At 7-40pm., under cover of this barrage, he again assembled for a counter-attack, but was driven off by our artillery, Lewis gun, and rifle fire.

The following day the enemy were quieter and did not fancy our fire again, contenting himself by putting up a barrage during the afternoon. The casualties for the battle of Tower Hamlets were heavy, and the dead numbered two very gallant officers, who by their loyalty and fine example had done so much towards helping the 20th Battalion to create such a fine record. Captain Arnold Pumphrey, D.S.O., was shot through the head whilst leading his Company against a nest of machine-guns, and Major Graham McNichol, D.S.O., was killed whilst in command of the 26th Battalion Royal Fusiliers of the 124th Brigade.

The other officers killed were:- 2nd Lieutenants R.C.Charlton, N.H.W. Cartwright, T.C. Bamborough, and W. P. McGibbon".

"The Divisional Commander congratulates all ranks on the splendid spirit which the attack was made, and the determined way in which many strong points were dealt with. The result of the two days fighting calls for high praise for all concerned. It has given the enemy another experience of the fighting qualities of the 41st Division."

He was killed near Tower Hamlets in action on the 23rd September 1917.

His commanding officer, after referring to the high opinion he had formed of him, wrote:- "This opinion was substantiated to the full by his gallant conduct on [the] 21st September, when the battalion attacked the enemy position under great difficulty. He was a splendid man, and I van assure you his loss is very sincerely felt throughout the whole battalion,". An another officer, "He had done so much to make our share of the offensive of 20th September a success, that his death, when the battalion were being relieved, came as a blow to everyone. You may find some consolation in the knowledge that he died at his post of duty, and in the very front of the newly-acquired ground".

In his will he left to James Morrison MacGibbon clerk, effects of 1076 16s 8d.

De Ruvigny Roll of Honour

William Patrick McGibbon is remembered in the North East in D47.148a page 53.

He is also remembered in the Artist Roll of Honour Book page 27, 11, and 16.

The Royal Bank of Canada remember him on the WW1 Roll of Honour.

* Footnote: His service number 7513, indicates that he joined the Artists Rifles (1/28th, 2/28th and 3/28th Battalions), between February 17th to March 1st, 1916. His service number would have be re-numbered from his 4 digit number to a 6 digit number to 761798.

* In January 1917, the 4,516 Cadets then serving (bearing numbers between 1 and 10515, were consecutively re-numbered 760001 to 764516.

Special thanks to Lyn Crawford, RBS Archivist,

and Amanda Green, High School Archivist.

RBS Remembers 1914-1918
The CWGC entry for 2nd Lieutenant McGibbon

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk