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Posted: 24.04.18

Christ College Remembers. . . Lieutenant Wilfred St Martin Gibbon


Wilfred St Martin Gibbon was born on 4th July 1889 in Glasbury, where his father, the Reverend Hugh Harries Gibbon, was vicar. Wilfred was the second of five sons to join School House, the oldest being Reginald Hugh Gibbon who joined School House in 1896, played for the 1st XV and left school for Keble College, Oxford before taking holy orders. Reginald Hugh served as an Army Chaplain in the First World War.

Wilfred St Martin joined Christ College in the term after his eldest brother left and he was soon followed by their younger brothers. A “happy and cheery” fellow, Wilfred took part in the annual Athletic Sports, coming first in the Quarter-Mile Under-16 Handicap on Easter Monday 1904 and winning the three-legged race in the following year. In 1906, his final year at school, he played for the 2nd and 3rd Cricket XI.

At the age of 17 he was “appointed by examination” to the National Provincial Bank. Soon after the outbreak of war, Wilfred volunteered for the Army and was commissioned into the 12th Battalion, Welsh Regiment. The following year, on 1st May 1915, 25-year-old Wilfred married 21-year-old Majorie Isobel Forester at Holy Trinity Church, Formby, Liverpool. They subsequently had one daughter.

Wilfred saw a great deal of service in Salonika, although he suffered three serious bouts of malaria. He transferred to the Indian Army and was promoted to Lieutenant.

On 24th April 1918 Lieutenant Wilfred St Martin Gibbon died from enteric fever in India. The local newspapers reported that “A short memorial service was conducted at St Peter’s (Glasbury) on Sunday morning . . . and muffled bells pealed in the evening.” The Breconian paid “a last tribute to one more promising and useful life freely given in the service of his Country”.

Lieutenant Wilfred St Martin Gibbon is buried in the Nowshera Military Cemetery and is remembered on the War Memorial at Christ College.

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