Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour
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Lieutenant Alexander James Gibson

Service No.:
1043
Unit:
37th Battalion
Tree No.:
S110
Planted by:
Miss Irving
Image of plaque on tree S110 for Alexander Gibson
See Notes (1)
Image of Service Medal - British War Medal Image of Service Medal - Victory Medal

Alexander was born at Maryborough, VIC in 1894 to Louis Denhame Gibson and Edith Ann Wallace. Alexander had a brother, John(2), who also served but is not remembered in the Avenue.

Image of Poppy
KIA
Image of Alexander Gibson
click to enlarge
Courtesy of
National Library of Australia.
Record of war service
of bank and staff 1914-1919
National Bank of Australasia Limited.
http://nla.gov.au/nla.aus-vn4759636

Alexander was a bank clerk and gave his address as the National Bank at Bacchus Marsh, VIC when he enlisted at Benalla, VIC, in the AIF, 37th Battalion on the 18th of January 1916, aged 21. He embarked aboard the HMAT A34 Persic in June as a Private, disembarking at Plymouth, England in July.

In September 1916 Alexander was promoted to Lance Corporal and in November was on his way to France. In February 1917 he was made a temporary Corporal and then in April a Corporal and promoted to Sergeant in June. In August he returned to England to attend the Officers Cadet Battalion and was appointed 2nd Lieutenant in in December. He rejoined his unit in January 1918 and was promoted to Lieutenant in May. Alexander was granted two weeks leave in early September. Around this time the 37th Battalion mutinied:-

... In September 1918 several battalions were ordered to disband to provide reinforcements for others. The 37th was one such battalion. Its CO, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Story, was dismissed for questioning the order in letters written to all of his superior commanders, including the Prime Minister. The men of the battalion subsequently mutinied. On 23 September the order to disband was temporarily suspended ,and the battalion fought its last battle - St Quentin Canal - six days later. On 12 October 1918 the 37th Battalion, then with a fighting strength of 90, disbanded.

Source: AWM 37th Battalion

During the battle at St Quentin Canal Alexander was killed in action on the 30th of September 1918.

I was with Lieut Gibson (37 D.XVI) when he was killed, about 30th September at Mont St Quentin. Five of us were together in a shell hole, on duty behind the lines, about 11o'clock at night. Lieut Gibson and our O.C. (Lieut Gallagher) were with us . We were all sitting there, when a gas shell came over. Lieut Gibson was killed absolutely instantaneously. I was next to him, and was gassed.

Source: Pte. William Hanson 2930 37th Btn D Coy XVI pltn

Alexander was most likely buried in the Sainte Emilie British Cemetery and later reinterred in Unicorn British Cemetery plot 4 row B grave 12.

He is listed on the Roll of Honour for Bacchus Marsh, held by the RSL at Bacchus Marsh although he is not listed as having given the supreme sacrifice.

Notes

  1. He was in the 10th Brigade, 37th Battalion
  2. John Denhame Gibson, 51366, enlisted in January 1918 and arrived in England in July. In November he spent two months in hospital before proceeding to France in February 1919 to join the 22nd Battalion. He was detached for duty with the Australian Graves Detachment until he returned to England in August. He returned to Australia in November 1919 and was discharged in December.

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Last updated by lee, Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:12:50