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93183 Sergeant Andrew Gibbons A Company 2nd Battalion Tank Corps 1917/18


Bill1960
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I am currently researching my great, great grandfather Andrew Gibbons and have hit a bit of a wall when it comes to his transfer from the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment to the 2nd Bn HBMCG which became 2nd Bn Tank Corps.  His conduct sheet is stamped 'A Coy, 2nd Bn Tank Corps' and I have the details of his transfer  - in February 1917.  He was injured on 25 March 1918 suffering a dislocated shoulder and caught the Spanish Flu while in hospital.  This saw him out for the rest of the war.  I have read Ian Verrinder's excellent book, Tank Action in the Great War and Andrew Gibbons is not mentioned but there are some gaps, particularly in No 4 Company/A Company of the 2nd Battalion.  Does anyone have any further information or pointers to lists where I could find more about this stage of Andrew Gibbon's career in the Tank Corps?

 

As a bit of background, Andrew Gibbons joined the Army 3 times.  Once in 1899 until 1907 serving in Malta, Crete, Gibraltar, South Africa and UK with 2nd Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (regimental number 6045).  He then rejoined on 5 August 1914 and went into 1st Bn Loyal North Lancashire Regiment and promoted to Sergeant almost immediately.  He was wounded by shrapnel on the first day of the battle of Loos on 25 September 1915.  After hospitalisation, he was discharged.  He rejoined the army again on 1 December 1916 again, into his old regiment and again promoted to Sergeant but then transferred almost immediately into the MCG and ultimately the Tank Corps.  He survived the war but was unfortunately killed when he was hit by a tram while riding his bicycle in Liverpool in Late April 1924.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Bill and welcome to the forum.

 

I can't answer your specific question, but just to pick up on his earlier service, if he received service number 6045 in 1899 and had it again in 1914 then he was under a continuous period of service - a new enlistment would have been a new number.

 

I believe the sequence was that he enlisted on the 7th March 1899 for a standard 12 year enlistment, the 7 years in the colours and 5 in the reserves shown on his attestation form that is in his service record. He was discharged to the reserve part of his service on the 18th February 1907. When the reserve part was finished he then applied on the 8th March 1911 to join Army Reserve D - basically extending the reserve part of his service by another 4 years. As well as continuing to receive reservist allowances as long as he attended annual camps and so many drill nights, it also left him liable for mobilisation on the 5th August 1914 when the British Empire entered the Great War. In time of war his four years could be extended by another year so taking him up to March 1916. The whole thing is one period of service, not two.

 

He was discharged in March 1916 as time expired not because of wounding. By co-incidence at that time the 1916 Military Services Act that introduced Conscription was going through Parliament. The way it was worded and the supporting speeches of ministers left it vague as to whether medically discharged or time-served ex-servicemen would still be liable for conscription. This caused confusion for the Military Tribunals set up to police and enforce conscription, with some choosing to fine such men for not registering for National Service. Others dismissed attempts by the Military to conscript such men, leading Military respresentative to escalate to regional and national level, clogging up the appeals machinery. This quite naturally led to enraged local MPS asking questions in the house. In part to clarify the law, (and in part because of the losses on the Somme), the law was amended to make it completely clear that subject to fitness such men would be subject to conscription.  As a consquence Andrew was therefore conscripted in December 1916.

 

I don't know if someone like @Gareth Davies can help with your specific query - if not I'm sure he knows someone who can:)

 

Hope that makes sense,

 

Peter

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Thanks Peter for such a quick and detailed response.  That's filled in some gaps. I did wonder why he was discharged so long after being wounded (6 months), but your explanation makes sense.

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I should add at this point that I have already trawled through the War Diaries for 2 Bn Tank Corps and I can't find any reference to Sgt Gibbons.  I would particularly like to discover what tank he crewed (that's if he did of course).

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Sorry, I can't help. And despite @PRC's confidence I am not sure who to suggest; Ian V would have been my suggestion.

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