Photograph of Joseph Gibbons courtesy of great-nephew Roger Gibbons. Full length photo at bottom of this page.
Died of Wounds on Wednesday, 9th October 1918, age 21.
Buried in Grave XVI. A. 17. at Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France.
2nd Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 6th Brigade of 2nd Division.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Unknown.
First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.
Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because identified as Tipton on 'Soldiers Died in the Great War'.
Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/290095/
Birth of Joseph Edwin Gibbons registered June quarter 1897 at Dudley.
15 Newhall Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Isaac Gibbons (31, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Rebecca (28, born Wednesbury), and their 4 children: Isaac (7, born Tipton), Annie (5, born Tipton), Joseph (4, born Tipton), and Alfred (1, born Tipton).
2 Foundry Street, Princes End, Tipton, Staffs.
Isaac Gibbons (40, Coal Miner, born Tipton), his wife Rebecca (38, born Wednesbury), and their 8 surviving children of 10: Isaac (17, Out of Work Galvaniser, born Tipton), Annie (15, In Service, born Tipton), Joseph (14, Driller/Machinist at Ironfounder, born Tipton), Alfred (11, School, born Tipton), Edith (9, School, born Tipton), Sidney (5, School, born Tipton), Harold (2, born Tipton), and Charles (6 weeks, born Tipton).
Marriage of Joseph E. Gibbons and Eliza Clarke registered December quarter 1917 at Dudley. A son, also named Joseph, was born in December quarter 1918, most likely after the death of his father. Eliza re-married in September quarter 1920, to William Burton.
After Joseph's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £3/4/2d (3 pounds, 4 shillings and 2 pence); this was paid to his widow, Eliza, in March and April 1919. His War Gratuity was £3/0/0d (3 pounds exactly), this was also paid to his widow in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Joseph had enlisted in the previous 12 months.
The Battles of the Hindenburg Line commenced on 12th September 1918 with the Battle of Havrincourt, and ended on 12th October with the conclusion of the Pursuit to the Selle. After the breaking of the Hindenburg Line by the 46th (North Midlands) Division on 29th September, the Germans were forced to retreat to a new line running south from Cambrai. This line only held for a few days.
On 8th October 1918, the British Third and Fourth Armies launched a set-piece attack along a 17 mile front, to be known as the Battle of Cambrai, 1918. The Germans were forced out of the new line south of Cambrai, and Cambrai was liberated on 9 October and the Germans forced back to a new line on the River Selle. The 2nd South Staffs were involved in this action, and it is likley that this was the action in which Joseph Gibbons was mortally wounded.
Joseph would have been moved back through the casualty evacuation chain, and ended up in Grevillers where the 34th, 49th, and 56th Casualty Clearing Stations were situated. Joseph died from his wounds on the 9th October, and is buried in Grevillers British Cemetery.
Photograph courtesy of great-nephew Roger Gibbons.