Lieut-Colonel William Beresford Gibbs

Born1881 The Vicarage, Abingdon
Died1916 Killed in action in the Great War
FatherRev. William Cobham Gibbs (1845 – 1918)
MotherAnnie Katharina Downall (1846 – 1924)

Life Events


Biography and Notes

2nd son. Baptised at St. Helen's, Abingdon 24 February 1881. Educated at Wellington College, 1896-9. Died unmarried 3 September 1916, being killed in action in the Great War near Thiepval, France, and was buried at Authuille (or Blighty Valley) Cemetery. Memorial Inscription there and Memorial window at Hagley. Administration London 25 November 1916.

Was in the Wellington and the Sandhurst Rugby Football teams (full back). 2nd Lieut. Worcestershire Regt. 1900; Lieut. 1901; Capt. 1904; Major 1915; Temp. Lieut.-Col. August 1916; served in the South African (Boer) war of 1899-1902 with 2nd Bn. Worcesters and 5th Mounted Infantry Brigade (Queen's medal and 3 clasps, King's medal and 2 clasps). Afterwards was with 2nd Worcesters in India and Ceylon till 1908 when he seconded to the Egyptian Army and served with the 13th Sudanese; was 2nd in command of Camel Corps and staff officer to an expedition against the Annaks and Colonel (Bey) of the 15th Sudanese Regt.

In the Great War given leave in May 1916 to rejoin the Wore. Regt. he was posted to the 3rd Bn. in France as 2nd in command. From July was in full command of the Bn. and at the assault of the Hindenburg Trench near Thiepval on 24th August, when his and the 1st Bn. of the Wilts. Regt. took 100 prisoners and 22 machine guns of the Prussian Guard Regt., his Bn. was specially thanked by Sir D. Haig. Killed on 3 Sep. by a sniper's bullet while reconnoitring. Mentioned in despatches 13 November 1916. British war medal and Allies' (Victory) medal of the Great War, issued to his mother. Order of the Nile.

He was an exceptionally fine rider and won many races in India, Ceylon, Egypt and Khartoum, and played in the principal Polo tournaments there. Included in Wisden's Cricketers Almanack for ten years after his death in "Births & Deaths of Cricketers".

Portrait: Pastel by W. E. Miller 1883 last in possession of his nephew Beresford.