GIBSON, Andrew Alexander
(Service number 12/3326)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||3 August 1886||Place of Birth||Pleasant Point|
|Date||25 August 1915||Age||29 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Green Lane, Auckland|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||W. C. GIBSON (brother), Sunnyside Road, Green Lane, Auckland|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 7 inches. Weight 13 stone 7 lbs. Chest measurement 37-40 inches. Complexion medium. Eyes blue. Hair light brown. Sight, hearing and colour vision all normal. Limbs well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Chest well formed. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth - upper plate, lower fair. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Good bodily and mental health. No slight defects. No illness. No fits.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||8th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Auckland Infantry Battalion|
|Date||13 November 1915|
|Transport||Willochra or Tofua|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
|Campaigns||Egyptian; Egyptian Expeditionary Force; Western European.|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||16 January 1917||Reason||No longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on active service.|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
4 June 1916 - admitted to hospital at Armentières; September 1916 - admitted to hospital in the field; 14 September 1916 admitted to No. 8 General Hospital at Rouen; 17 September 1916 admitted to NZ General Hospital at Brockenhurst, England. 3 October 1916 arrived at NZ Convalescent Hospital at Codford; 27 October 1916 invalided home, permanently unfit.
|Date||9 February 1926||Age||40 years|
|Place of Death||Clarence River, North Canterbury|
|Notices||Press, 15 & 18 February 1926|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch|
|Memorial Reference||Block 2J, Plot 43|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Andrew Alexander Gibson was born on 3 August 1886 at Pleasant Point, the fourth son of Irish immigrants, Campbell and Catherine (née Crawford) Gibson. He was educated at Pleasant Point School, being admitted several times before leaving finally in 1901. Perhaps he was the Andrew Gibson who won the old boys’ race at the annual picnic of the Pleasant Point School in December 1902. Andrew’s mother died in 1911 at Pleasant Point. His father remarried in 1912 and again in 1925 after being widowed for a second time. Campbell Gibson died in 1943 at Christchurch where he had lived for many years.
Andrew was a labourer at home at Pleasant before spending some time with his oldest brother, William Crawford Gibson, in the Hutt in 1911. By 1914 he was back in South Canterbury, a surfaceman at Rangitata. The Rangitata A team which competed in the South Canterbury Miniature Rifles championship matches for the Hayhurst Shield and Medals, in August and September 1914, included A. A. Gibson, who finished in a respectable seventh place in his team of ten.
On 22 June 1915, Andrew A. Gibson, of Green Lane, turned up to the medical examination of recruits for the reinforcements of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force at the Drill Hall in Rutland Street and was one of the 50 out of 75 who were passed fit. He was part of a draft of 481 men who left the Auckland City Area on 24 August, Andrew being with the Infantry. He went into camp to form the Eighth Reinforcements and attested on 25 August at Trentham. Andrew was 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighed 13 stone 7 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 37-40 inches. He had a medium complexion medium, blue eyes and light brown hair. His sight, hearing and colour vision were all normal, as were his heart and lungs, and his limbs and chest were well formed. His lower teeth were only fair, while he had an upper dental plate. Being free of diseases, illnesses, slight defects and fits, he was in good bodily and mental health. Single and Presbyterian, Andrew named his oldest brother as next-of-kin – W. C. Gibson, Sunnyside Road, Green Lane, Auckland. His address was also Green Lane, Auckland, and, while he gave no occupation, he named his last employer as S. Gibson, Clandnerboui – probably his brother Samuel Gibson at Clandeboye.
Private Andrew Alexander Gibson embarked with the Auckland Infantry Battalion of the 8th Reinforcements, departing from Wellington on 13 November 1915 and reaching Suez, Egypt on 20 December. He was appointed lance corporal in early December on the transport and transferred to the New Zealand Field Field Ambulance before embarking for France in April 1916.
Admitted to hospital at Armentières on 4 June 1916, he was able to rejoin his unit three days later. After being admitted to hospital in the field, he was admitted, on 14 September 1916, to No. 8 General Hospital at Rouen and on 17 September admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital at Brockenhurst, England. After arriving at the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Codford on 3 October, it was decided that he was to proceed to New Zealand at Southampton on 27 October, permanently unfit. 12/3326 Private Andrew Alexander Gibson, Auckland Infantry Battalion, returned to New Zealand, invalided, by the hospital ship “Maheno” which was due to arrive at Wellington on 14 December 1916 approximately. He was discharged on 16 January 1917, no longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service. He was described as of good character. He had served in Egypt and Western Europe, and was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
In 1919 he was at Christchurch Hospital, a returned soldier. He re-attested on 3 October 1919 for further medical treatment at Christchurch. In 1922 he was a gardener, residing in Christchurch with his brother, John Campbell Gibson and his wife. By 1925 he had taken up rabbiting and was living at Aylesbury, Canterbury. In May 1921, Andrew Alexander Gibson and a fellow rabbiter, of Christchurch, brought a claim against a Culverden farmer, for breaking an agreement by his failure to consign rabbit skins on or about June 26, 1920. They were awarded £50.
His brother Samuel Gibson was killed in action in 1917 in France. Another brother Robert Mitchell Gibson served with the Australian Navy in World War One. His oldest brother, William Crawford Gibson, who had married in 1908 and had one child, was called up but did not serve; another brother, John Campbell Gibson, had also married, in 1912, and had four children when he was listed on the Reserve Rolls.
Andrew Alexander Gibson met a tragic death, drowning in the Clarence River at Bluff Point on 9 February 1926, aged 39 years. “Gibson had informed his mate that he would endeavour to swim the river, which is in flood. After getting into the swollen stream he was not again seen.” When his body was found a few days later, it was taken to Clarence Reserve where an inquest was held. Evidence was given by a mate, who described how Gibson made an attempt to cross the river to secure a horse, and by the constable, regarding the recovery of the body about nine miles from where deceased had entered the river. Andrew was buried in Sydenham Cemetery, Christchurch, with the infant son of his brother John Campbell Gibson. John was also buried there in 1932.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [28 October 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ Ref. AABK 18805 W5539 0044325) [12 June 2014]; Sydenham Cemetery burial record (Christchurch City Council) [30 October 2013]; Sydenham Cemetery headstone transcription (South Canterbury Branch NZSG Cemetery Records microfiches) [29 August 2014]; Timaru Herald, 23 December 1902, 12 & 17 October 1908, 11 March 1911, 29 August 1914, 21 September 1914, 13 February 1926, Lyttelton Times, 18 January 1912, Temuka Leader, 29 August 1914, 19 September 1914, NZ Herald, 23 June 1915, 25 August 1915, Auckland Star, 18 November 1916, NZ Times, 20 November 1916, Otago Daily Times, 12 December 1916, Star, 27 May 1921, Press, 12, 15, 17, 18 & 19 February 1926, 5 June 1943 (Papers Past) [29 October 2013; 16 August 2015; 15, 16 & 17 May 2017; 09 September 2020; 29 April 2021; 09 & 11 June 2022]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [30 August 2014]; School Admission records (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [11 June 2022]
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