Francis John GIBBS

Badge Number: 19258, Sub Branch: Glenelg

GIBBS, Francis John

Service Number: 72
Enlisted: 16 January 1916, at Adelaide
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 13 February 1885
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: 5 July 1960, aged 75 years, cause of death not yet discovered, place of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: North Brighton Cemetery, S.A.
Memorials: Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

16 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 72, 43rd Infantry Battalion, at Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, SN 72, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, SN 72, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Private, SN 72

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Francis John Gibbs was born in Adelaide in South Australia.  He was born on the 13th of February 1885.  His mother was Ellen Ann Gibbs and his father were John Gibbs.  He lived in Glenelg on Clyde Street and he grew up in South Australia.  His regimental number is 72.  He was baptised into the church of England. Francis John Gibbs was a carpenter before he enlisted into the war.  He was single and he was not married, and he didn’t have any children.  After the war he was married, and he had a son called Jack.  He was 5 foot 2 and he had brown hair, brown, eyes and he had a dark complexion. 

He enlisted on the 10th of January 1916.  He embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on HMAT A19 Afric on 9th of June 1916 and sailed to England He joined the 43rd battalion. On the 25th of November he proceeded overseas to France through South Hampton.  On the 14th of May 1918 he went to hospital sick with influenza. He returned to his battalion on the 8th of August 1918.

During the war Francis John Gibbs was a witness to another soldiers’ death at Le Hamel 1918.  Red Cross documents record that he said/wrote ‘To the best of my belief Inglis was killed in a field near Hamel on 5/6/18 by a shell which burst very near him and from his appearance when I saw him at 6 am. He was killed instantaneously.  He was buried where he fell.  A party of pioneers went over this ground in February for the purpose of collecting all bodies into the cemetery at Hamel.  

After the war he returned to Australia on the 4th of July 1919.  During his time serving at war he received 3 medals.  Francis John Gibbs name is also placed on an honour board that can be found in Glenelg, South Australia.  After war he had a wife called Mabel Alice Gibbs and a son named Jack.  It is possible that you can find his grave at the North Brighton cemetery in Adelaide, South Australia.  Francis John Gibbs died on the 5th of July 1960.