Horace Michael GIBLIN

GIBLIN, Horace Michael

Service Numbers: 4781, 4781A
Enlisted: 25 October 1915
Last Rank: Driver
Last Unit: 11th Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Launceston, August 1891
Home Town: Launceston, Launceston, Tasmania
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Carpenter
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World War 1 Service

25 Oct 1915: Enlisted Australian Army (Post WW2), SN 4781, 10th Infantry Battalion
9 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, SN 4781, 10th Infantry Battalion
9 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, SN 4781, 10th Infantry Battalion, RMS Mongolia, Adelaide
16 Apr 1916: Transferred Australian Army (Post WW2), Driver, 4th Divisional Ammunition Column
16 Apr 1917: Transferred Australian Army (Post WW2), Driver, 11th Field Artillery Brigade
13 Jun 1918: Discharged Australian Army (Post WW2), Driver, SN 4781A, 11th Field Artillery Brigade
18 Oct 1918: Wounded Australian Army (Post WW2), Driver, SN 4781A, 11th Field Artillery Brigade , Third Ypres

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Biography contributed by Caller Damon Charlie

Driver Horace Michael Giblin was a 24-year-old carpenter who was married to Kate Giblin when he enlisted to go to war on the 25th of October 1915. He was 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighed 136 pounds or 61 kilograms, had blue eyes and brown hair. Horace was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia. He enlisted at the Norwood enlistment post into the 10th Battalion, 15th reinforcements. Very soon after Horace enlisted he was transferred from the 10th Battalion to the 11th Field Artillery Brigade 43rd Battery, which was under the lead of the 4th Division.

Horace’s rank and job in the 4th Division was a Driver. A driver in World War One rode on team horses which pulled wagons, guns, ambulances and equipment. Usually a wagon had three drivers assigned to a team of six horses, divided into three pairs. Each driver was responsible for his two horses (feeding, shoeing, vet care, etc.) and he teamed up with two other drivers to pull the wagon. Drivers were essential in getting supplies, food, ammunition and equipment to the men at the front, and bringing the wounded back to medical stations. It was a dangerous job as they were targeted by machine guns and artillery to prevent them getting supplies through.

The 4th Division were sent to Egypt on the ninth of March 1916 on the R.M.S Mongolia. He trained in Egypt for several months before embarking for the Western Front. Horace’s Battalion embarked to the Western Front on the H.M.T. Harverford and left at 7 a.m. They arrived at Marseilles at 6 a.m. on the 10th of June and later that day Giblin’s Battalion boarded the train to Havre. On June 12th, 1916, the 4th Division arrived at Havre. On the 13 and 14th of June the 43rd Battery received their equipment and on the 15th, the Battery boarded the train for Caestre at 9 a.m. and arrived at 5 p.m. the same day. From there the 4th Division went into billets. On the 2nd of July Horace was reported missing, absent without leave, from his billet from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Because of this action Giblin forfeited five days of pay. On the 3rd of July, the 4th Division prepared to move to Fleurbaix the next day.

Early the next day, the 4th of July, Horace’s Brigade marched to Fleurbaix and from 4p.m. until 6p.m. that day the brigade fired shells at the enemy trenches. The trenches were shelled again at the same times on the 9th and the 11th  July. Around this time Horace became sick and was admitted to hospital; he was discharged a few days later. From there the Battalion moved all over the Western Front and eventually, with help from Russian troops took Ypres on November 6th 1917. This battle was one of the most costly and controversial battles of World War One.

During his time in the 4th Division, Giblin became sick on multiple occasions, and suffered three gas attacks which eventually saw him medically discharged from the army. The first account of Horace getting sick was whilst the battery had been taken off the front line and were in the reserves at Naours on the 9th of December 1916. He was in hospital until the 19th of December 1916. The second account was on the 5th of June 1917. The battalion was in Messines, Belgium at the time. There were several other accounts of him going to hospital sick.

The only other times Horace went to the hospital was after the gas attack that he was caught in. The shell hit on the 17th of October. Horace was not seriously injured but the army hospitalised him as a precaution. He was transferred to England later that week on the 21st of October. He was admitted to the war hospital from the 23rd of October 1918 until the 28th of November 1918 when Horace was medically discharged from the army and returned to Australia with major heart, lung and airway impairments.

Horace was awarded the Victory Medal for helping the Allies win the war and he also won the British War Medal for participating in the war. There is no information available on the public record as to what Horace did after the war, how or when Horace died, or where he was buried.




National Archives of Australia n.d., Record Search, Australian Govenment, N.A., accessed 12 March 2017, <https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx>.

Australian War Memorial n.d., Australian Imperial Force unit war diaries, Australian Govenment, N.A., accessed 12 March 2017, <https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/awm4/>.