The AIF Project

Richard Horace Maconochie GIBBS

Date of birth4 February 1892
Place of birthWarracknabeal, Victoria
SchoolCaulfield Grammar School, Victoria
Other trainingUniversity of Melbourne, Victoria
OccupationMedical student
AddressMelbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 9"
Weight168 lbs
Next of kinFather, Dr R H Gibbs, Colac, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Volunteer Cadets.
Enlistment date10 May 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name6th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 28 January 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No 14), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Richard (died, result of accident, 13 July 1919) and Helen GIBBS, 156 Church Street, Middle Brighton, Victoria. Native of Colac, Victoria

Military Cross

'For conspicuous gallantry in action. When his company commander was seriously wounded he took charge and led his men over the parapet and steadily forward under very heavy machine gun and rifle fire.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 14 December 1916

Family/military connectionsBrother: 1951 Pte John Harbinger GIBBS, Administrative Headquarters, returned to Australia, 16 July 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 28 January 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 28 February 1916.

Transferred to 59th Bn and taken on strength, Tel el Kebir, 21 March 1916.

Absorbed on strength, 59th Bn, Duntroon Plateau, 30 April 1916.

Appointed Lieutenant to complete Special Order establishment, 1 June 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Posted missing, 19 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 29 August 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 19 July 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File No 1151014: 'No trace Germany. Cert by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, 4588 Pte C.H. SAUNDERS, 59th Bn (patient, 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, England), 25 August 1916: 'I saw Lieut. Gibbs when I was coming back from trenches between the two lines at Fleurbaix, he was dead, I was lying beside him for a long time.'

Second statement, Captain G.W. AKEROYD, 59th Bn (patient, 1st London General Hospital, Camberwell, England), 30 August 1916: 'Informant states that on August 23/16 he heard from Lieut. Stockfield, 59. A.I.F. now in 3rd. London General Hospital, Wandsworth, that Lieut. Gibbs got hit and fell about 80 yds. this side of the German trenches at Fleurbaix on July 19/16.'

Third statement, 4603 Pte A. TAYLOR, A Company, 59th Bn, 4 September 1916: 'He was killed over towards the German line in the charge on the night of July 19th at Fleurbaix. I saw him go down hit either by shrapnel or a bullet. I was quite near him at the time. I don't know if his body was recovered.'

Fourth statement, 3563 Pte L. LYONS, 59th Bn, 4 September 1916: 'Pte Dozell, IV Platoon, A. Coy. Bombing Sect; (sic) told me he saw Mr. Gibbs' body lying out near the German lines during the charge on July 19 that Fleurbaix. He told me this next morning when he came out of the charge.'Fifth statement, 3696 Sergeant S. BENT, A Company, 59th Bn, 4 August 1916: 'I saw Lt. Gibbs wounded by the creek in No Man's Land about 100 yards away from the German front line trenches at Fleur Baix (sic) on July 19th 1916. He went down in a heap. We were driven back at this point. The grass was high and I did not see him again. I made enquiries but could hear nothing further at all about him. I concluded that he died where he fell.'

Medals: Military Cross, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, GIBBS Richard Horace Maconochie
Red Cross file 1151014

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