Born: 17th June 1872, Ipswich.
Died: 10th March 1915; age 42; Died of Pleurisy & Pneumonia at the 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Warwickshire.
Occupation: Doctor of Medicine – he had practiced in Ipswich for 14 years.
In 1898, while at Edinburgh University, William joined the University Coy. of the 1st Volunteer Battalion, Edinburgh Rifle Volunteers, serving for four years in the ranks, and later became Lieutenant in the Harwich Infantry Brigade Bearer Company, R.A.M.C.
William was Gazetted Captain to the 1st East Anglian Field Ambulance at it’s formation, and on the 16th July 1912, was transferred to the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment as Medical Officer. He became Major, R.A.M.C. (t.F.) on the 3rd December 1913, and after the outbreak of the war, was made Lieut.-Col. of the East Anglian Casualty Clearing Station – 22nd December 1914. He raised the unit solely through his personal influence, both with regard to officers and men.
William had been connected with the Volunteer and Territorial Forces for 17 years, and was gazetted Captain in the 1st East Anglian Field Ambulance on it’s formation, being transformed to the 6th (Cyclist) Battalion, of the Suffolk Regiment, as Medical Officer, in 1912. He was promoted Major in 1913, and Lieutenant Colonel to command the East Anglian Casualty Clearing Station in December 1914. He was busily engaged in completing preparations to take his unit aboard, at the time when contracted a chill which developed into the attack of pneumonia and pleurisy.
Ipswich School magazine – March 1915.
Rank; Lieutenant Colonel.
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps, East Anglian Divisional Casualty Clearing Station, attached 6th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
Newspaper 19th March 1915 (Chronicle & Mercury):
The regard entertained by all classes of Ipswichians for the late Lieut.-Col. W.A. Gibb, M.D., and the regret occasioned by his untimely demise at the early age of 42 were strikingly shown at his funeral obsequies on Monday afternoon, when there was one of the largest attendances ever seen at a local funeral. Similarly, too, from a military standpoint has there seldom been on imposing a ceremony. The deceased was the popular commanding officer of the East Anglian Clearing Station, and every available unit of the garrison was strongly represented in order to show respect for a zealous officer, a successful practitioner, and a genial gentleman.
The body was brought by rail from Birmingham, where death took place, and taken to deceased’s residence at Major’s Corner. There was a private service there at 2:15, and the public ceremony took place at 2:30. The military units made the Cornhill their concentration point, and they then marched to Major’s Corner, the principal streets and these leading to the Cemetery being lined with thousands of sympathetic spectators. First came a firing party, composed of non-coms, of the R.F.A. from the Artillery Barracks, carrying their arms reversed, and buglers. Following came the Salvation Army Band, playing the “Dead March” in Saul. With Bandmaster Knights walked Adjutant Booth Davy. The coffin, covered with the Union Jack, was on a gun-carriage drawn by six black horses, and ridden by three sergeants of the R.F.A. The follow officers acted as pall-bearers:- Colonel S.S. Hoyland, M.D., V.D., A.M.S. (T.); Colonel G.S. Elliston, C.B., V.D., A.M.S. (retired); Lieut.-Colonel W.T. Pretty, T.D. (6th Suffolk Regiment); Lieut.-Colonel J.M.G. Bremner, M.D., R.A.M.C. (T.)Lieut.-Colonel E.J. Cross, M.D.; and Lieut.-Colonel H.L. Battersby, R.A.M.C.
Three Sergeants of the 6th (Cyclist) Suffolks (Colonel Gibb’s late unit) and three Sergeants from his own unit – the East Anglian Clearing Station acted as bearers. The mourners were:- Mr. Alexander Gibb, J.P. (father), Mr. Anderson Gibb and Mr. Owen Gibb (brothers), Mr. Douglas Kerr, Mr. E.K. Simpson, Dr. G. Irvine T. Stewart, Mr. F.C. Ward, Mr. Thomas Grant, Miss M. Pannell, and Miss Clarke; Mrs W.A. Gibb, Miss Hawkins, and Miss Pannell were present at the service at the house. The rear of the procession was brought up by military and ambulance detachments and Boy Scouts. These included about 80 officers and men of the East Anglian Clearing Station, the former being Major J.H. Dauber, M.B., Captain W. Redpath, M.B., Lieut. F.W. Lewis, and Lieut. and Quartermaster John W. Price. With them walked Captain A. Cameron Young (2nd East Anglian Field Ambulance). Following came Major Francis and fifty men of the B Company of the Cambridgeshire Regiment – a fine body of veterans Major C.P. Beevor, Captain A.A. Sharland (Adjutant), Captain E.L.D. Lake, Lieutenant and Quartermaster J. Campbell, and the Rev. S.W. Key (chaplain), and a detachment of the 6th (Cyclists) Suffolks; Captain Duke and fifty non-commissioned officers and men of the 4th Suffolks: and 300 officers and men of the R.F.A. from the Barracks under Major G.R. Darley.
These were followed by nearly 40 men of the Ipswich Ambulance Corps, under Corps Supt. J.T. Brooke and Corps Surgeon W.F. Fryer; each man carried one of the choice floral tokens, of which there was a large number. Included in the Ambulance detachment there were also the Chief District Surgeon S.O. Eades, Miss Coulcher (lady district superintendent), Mr. H.W. Mason, assisting director for East Suffolk (representing the Red Cross Society), and the following Superintendents:- Mr. T. Damant, 1st Division, Mr. W. Ramsey, St. John Division; Mr. G. Curtis, Social Settlement Division, and Mr. J. Pawsey, Orwell Works Division; Sergt. Goddard, Gippeswyk Division; Miss Hemsworth, lady superintendent of the nursing division, and superintendent Andrews, of Colchester, together with about 30 nursing sisters. The rear was brought up by about 80 Ipswich Scouts under the command of A.S.M. Cracknell and Scoutmasters Mossman and Horne. Dr. J.F.C. Hossack’s motor also followed in the procession.
There was a very large assemblage at the graveside, where the whole of the service was performed. Among those present were: The Mayor (Mr. John D. Cobbold), Sir Fredk. Wilson, Colonel F.G. Bond, Capt. Stanley Ward (3rd East Anglian Howitzer Battery, R.F.A., T.)Mr. Sydney Brand, Dr. F. Adams, Mr. F.E. Rands, Rev. Cannon W.E. Fletcher, Mr. Herbert St. George Cobbold, Mr. P.P. Cornell, Mr. Bernard Corder, Mr. Paul Ridley, Mr. J.T. Rainer, Dr. R.W. Brogden, Dr. E. J.R. Bartlett, Dr. H.F. Dufton, (Brockford), Mr. F.P. Bugg, Mr. R.H. Unsworth, Mr. R. Toller, Mr. and Mrs. H. W. Fry, Mr. E.J. Culf, Rev. and Mrs. M.D. Morgan, Rev. R.E. Willis, Mr. Herbert Wright, Mr. John Pye, and Mr. A. Griffths (representing the Board of Management of the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital), etc.
The service was conducted by the Rev. E.J. Gilchrist, minister of the Presbyterian Church, where deceased was an attendant. The rev. gentleman was accompanied by Canon W.E. Fletcher, rector of St. Matthew’s. At the conclusion three volleys were fired and the buglers sounded the “Last Post.” Despite the large number, all those who followed were able to get within hearing of the minister voice, excellent arrangements being made by the police under Supt. Warner.
Floral tributes were sent by:- Mrs. W. A. Gibb, Mr. and Mrs. Gibb (Hillside), Mr. and Mrs. Owen Gibb, Mrs E. Gibb (Eastbourne), Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Kerr, Dr. and Mrs. Eades, Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Bland, Mr. T. Grant, Doff and Edward Cooper, Miss Parnnell, Miss M. Parnnell, Miss Raffe, Mrs. Little, Mr. and Mrs. Reid Moir, Mrs. and Miss Penraven, Mr. and Miss Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Ridley Hooper and baby, Mrs. Irvine Stewart, Mr. and Mrs. W.J. Catchpole, Capt. and Mrs. Rowley Elliston, Mrs. Goldsmith and family (Norwich Road), St. John Ambulance Brigade (Ipswich Corps), Misses Brown, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, Dr. Cameron Young, Miss E. Garrick, Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Mossman, Mr. and Mrs. F.C. Ward, Capt. Stanley Ward, Mr. and Mrs, John Booth, Mr. and Mrs. James Watt, the Misses Bank, Lieut,-Col. Pretty and Officers 6th Suffolks, Miss Hawkins, Miss Mengel, Mrs. and Miss Lucas, the Officers East Anglian C.C. Station, W.O., N.C. Officers and Men East Anglian C.C. Station, Mr. F.J. Culf, Mr. Alfred Matcham. Miss Clarke, Miss Kinghorn, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Bird, the Hon. Medical Staff East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, Lieut. Colonel and Officers 1st Eastern Mounted Brigade Field Ambulance (Woodbridge), Members of the Board of Management and Resident Staff East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, Sisters Lowe and Nurses Shore, Lane, Eastcaugh, and Chamberlain (Saxmundham), Dr. and Mrs. Frank Adams, the Boy Scouts, Mr. E.K. Simpson; Colonel Hoyland, Major Freemantle, Lieut.-Colonel T.E. Freemantle, officers E.A. Division, Bury St. Edmund’; the Misses Dunn, Capt. and Mrs. Sharland, Major and Mrs. Hetherington, Dr. and Mrs. Bryan, etc.
The wreath from the Deputy-Commissioner and Staff of the Eastern Division the Ipswich Centre and the Ipswich Corps represented an eight pointed cross of the Order of St. John.
The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. E.S. Singleton, Ltd., Woodbridge Road.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Alexander Gibb; husband of Rosina Sarah Gibb, of 38 , Anglesea Road, Ipswich.
1881 Caithness House, Anglesea Road, Ipswich.
William was 6 years old and living with his parents, siblings & cousin.
Alexander Gibb, 39, a Bank Accountant, born Leslie, Fife, Scotland.
Jessie Violet Gibb (nee Coghill), 35, born Wick, Caithness, Scotland.
Donald Calder Gibb, 8, born Ipswich.
Anderson Gibb, 7, born Ipswich.
Owen Thornton Gibb, 4, born Ipswich.
Violet Jessie Gibb, 2, born Ipswich.
David George Gibb, born Ipswich.
Jessie’s niece Elizabeth Flett, 23, Nursery/Governess, Wick, Caithness, born Scotland.
1891 13, Cornhill, Ipswich.
William was 18 years old, a Medical Student. He was living with his parents, siblings & cousin.
Alexander, 49, a Bank Manager.
Elizabeth Rosa Gibb, 8, born Ipswich.
Elizabeth Flett, 33, Governess.
1901 Park Place, Neale Street, Ipswich.
William was 28 years old, a Doctor of Medicine – own account. He was Head of the Household.
1911 Major House, St. Helen’s Street, Ipswich.
William was 38 years old, a Doctor of Medicine – employer. He was married.
2 domestic maids.
William’s wife, Rosina, was 60 years old and a visitor to 57 year old, Court Dressmaker – employer, Emily Pannell & her sister, 47 year old, Marian Pannell, an Antique Dealer – at their home – 98, George Street, Portman Square, Westminster, London.
William attended Ipswich School – entered 1884. Before moving on to Edinburgh University, Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, London University, and Vienna. Matriculated at Edinburgh and London 1889, M.B., C.M., 1895; He took his Doctor of Medicine at Edinburgh University, in 1900, and was successively House Surgeon, Royal Infirmary and Skin Dispensary, Edinburgh, and at the Gloucester Royal Infirmary and Eye Institution, then at the Noble Hospital, Douglas, Isle of Man. William was Clinical Assistant to the Ear, Throat and Nose Hospital, Golden Square, London, and the Children’s Hospital, Great Ormond Street, London. He then took took up practice in Ipswich, and became Assistant Hon. Surgeon to the Ipswich and Suffolk Hospital, and Public Vaccinator for Ipswich Union.
William was a member of the Red Cross Council of the county of Suffolk, and the Scout Council. District Staff, and District St. John Ambulance Brigade, and Lecturer to St. John Ambulance Association.
William received the Coronation medal and was Honorary Associate of the Grand Priory of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England.
On the 20th September 1905, at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London, William married, Rosina Sarah Bullock, born 1861, Westbury, Wiltshire.
William’s father, Alexander Gibb, was the Bank Manager of the Capital & Counties Bank, Cornhill, Ipswich & a J.P. He was also Mayor of Ipswich – 1909 – 1910.
The Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) is part of the British Army providing medical services to all British Army personnel and their families in war and in peace. Together with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, the Royal Army Dental Corps and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, the RAMC forms the British Army’s essential Army Medical Services. In combat the men followed the troops over the top into no man’s land suffering losses of 743 officers and 6130 soldiers killed, while delivering medical care to wounded exposed to enemy fire.