• Donald Stewart Gibson

Army / Flying Corps
  • 19th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 5th Australian Machine Gun Company
  • Lieutenant

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  • 1914–1915 Star
  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Enlistment - WW1

    Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia

  • Birth

    Nowra, NSW, Australia

Stories and comments
    • GIBSON, Donald Stewart
    • Posted by FrevFord, Wednesday, 3 January 2018

    Born on the 3rd of July 1889 at Cambewarra (near Nowra), NSW – son of John GIBSON and Isabella McLEAN, who married at Shoalhaven in 1879 John died in Feb 1924, a few months before his 80th birthday, and Isabella died in 1941 Siblings: Alexander William b.1880 – d.1956; Oliver John b.1882 – d.1963; Arthur Forbes b.1883 – marr Eva Ruby – WW1: Pte 1537, 19th Bn – d.1970; Samuel James b.1885 Shoalhaven – School teacher – marr Florence Hannah – WW1: Pte 7201, 34th Bn – KIA 1/10/1917; Ellen R b.1886; Margaret Jane b.1891 – d.1962 Religion: Presbyterian Occupation: School Teacher – Appointed to Flowerdale Provisional School in 1911, and transferred to Yorkborough Provisional School in 1913; then to Limerick Provisional School in 1914 Member of: the Wagga Rifle Club and the Loyal Taralga Lodge WW1: Enlisted on the 2/3/1915 at Liverpool, NSW, aged 25 years 7 months; and embarked as Private 1459 with the 19th Battalion 25/6/1915 on the A40 Ceramic, for Egypt Proceeded to join MEF Gallipoli 16/8/1915 Admitted to the 1st Casualty Clearing Station (CCS), Anzac 12/9/1915 with Dysentery – transported by the hospital ship Gascon to Malta where he was admitted to St Lawrence Hospital on the 16/9/1915 Discharged from hospital to the Lines of Communication 7/12/1915 and returned to duty at Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt on the 8/1/1916 Admitted to the 8th Field Ambulance at Ferry Post 25/1/1916 with Parotitis (Mumps), and eventually to the 4th Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis from which he was discharged to duty on the 19/2/1916 Transferred to the 5th Machine Gun Company at Moascar 8/3/1916 and embarked at Alexandria 17/3/1916 to join the BEF – disembarking in Marseille, France 23/3/1916 In Belgium on the 16/9/1916 he was made Temporary Corporal, then on the 4/10/1916 he was promoted to Corporal and sent to the Machine Gun School at Camiers for instruction Admitted to the 36th CCS 11/11/1916 with Trench Feet and transferred through the hospital system to the 2nd Canadian General Hospital at Treport 13/11/1916 – he then crossed to England 19/11/1916 on the HS Carisbrook Castle, where he was admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham the following day Discharged to Furlough 12/2/1917 to 27/2/1917, before reporting at No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs 28/2/1917 – transferred to No. 4 Com Depot, Wareham 9/3/1917 – Draft Depot, Perham Downs 3/4/1917 – Machine Gun Training Depot, Grantham 23/4/1917 Proceeded overseas to France 19/5/1917, and taken on strength of the 5th MG Coy 31/5/1917 Promoted to Temporary Sergeant 3/7/1917, then to Sergeant 12/7/1917 To Machine Gun School, Camiers 31/8/1917 to 29/9/1917 Promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 22/10/1917 Sent to the Infantry School of Instruction 13/1/1918 to 22/2/1918 Promoted to Lieutenant 1/2/1918 UK Leave 24/2/1918 to 12/3/1918 Wounded on the 15/4/1918 at Gentelles when their Billets and Company Headquarters were heavily shelled by enemy artillery – also causing seven other casualties – sustained shell wounds to the face, eyes, and right hand, and admitted to the 55th CCS; then the 8th General Hospital, Rouen on the 18/4/1918 – embarked on the Grantully Castle for England 26/4/1918 and admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth 27/4/1918 Transferred to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers, Regents Park on the 8/7/1918 Trained as a Masseuse [Note: 5th MG Coy incorporated into the 2nd MG Battalion] Returned to Australia on the Orvieto 3/7/1920, disembarking 16/8/1920 Appointment terminated 15/1/1921 Married his pre-war fiancé Ella Catherine MacKENZIE on the 22nd of January 1921 at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Sydney, NSW Residents of 84 Prospect Rd, Summer Hill, NSW, from their marriage on Daughter: Marjorie Elaine b.1927 – marr Russell CLARKE Carried on employment as a Masseur President of the 2nd Machine Gun Battalion Association Died on the 21st of August 1954 at the Concord Repatriation Hospital, NSW, aged 65 Cremated Rookwood His wife applied for his Gallipoli Medallion in August 1967 – she died on the 19/9/1989, aged 94 (formerly of West Ryde, Croydon Park and Summer Hill) Government Gazette of NSW, Wed 30 Aug 1911 (p.4805): DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, and upon the recommendation of the Public Service Board, has been pleased to approve the appointments of the Teachers named hereunder, be confirmed: – Gibson, Donald S., Teacher, Flowerdale Provisional. Daily Advertiser (Wagga, NSW), Thur 3 Oct 1912 (p.4): MALEBO A pleasant evening was spent at the residence of Mr Mason, of The Gap, on Saturday last, when advantage was taken of the return of the late teacher of the Flowerdale school, Mr D.S. Gibson, to Wagga, for a few days, to make him a presentation in token of the respect and esteem in which he is held by the parents of the Flowerdale school, which was opened by him three years ago. Mr A.G. Gardner presented him with a handsomely fitted dressing case from the parents, and Master Harold Cordell, with a pair of gold sleeve links from the children. Mr Gibson feelingly acknowledged the gifts and after a few words from the chairman (Mr Mason), Mr Reid and others, Mr Gardner welcomed Mr Gibson’s successor, Mr Pearse from Ultimo, who suitably responded. ……………….. Government Gazette (NSW), Wed 26 Mar 1913 (p.1872): TRANSFERS AND APPOINTMENTS Department of Public Instruction The Public Service Board have approved of the transfers and appointments of the undermentioned teachers to the schools and positions specified in connection with their respective names: – Mr D.S. Gibson, from Flowerdale to Yorkborough Provisional; ………………………………. Government Gazette of NSW, Wed 18 Mar 1914 (p.1863): TRANSFERS AND APPOINTMENTS Department of Public Instruction The Public Service Board have approved of the transfers and appointments of the undermentioned persons to the schools and positions specified in connection with their respective names: – Mr D. Gibson, from Yorkborough to Limerick Provisional. Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Thur 25 Feb 1915 (p.4): TARALGA (From Our Correspondent) A farewell function to Mr Donald Gibson, late teacher of Limerick Public school and formerly of Yorkborough School in Taralga district, was held in the public hall on Saturday night. Mr Gibson has just enlisted for the war. There was a large attendance. Cr. Chas. Ross occupied the chair, and in his address stated that Mr Gibson was one of the five young men of this district who had volunteered for the front. He wished him God speed and a safe return. ……………………… Mr Gibson replied, thanking his Taralga friends for the opportunity they had afforded him of saying farewell to the many friends he had made in this district. ………………………………. The Shoalhaven Telegraph (NSW), Wed 5 May 1915 (p.11): CAMBEWARRA (From a Correspondent) This locality has at last furnished two volunteers towards the protection of the Empire. Stuart and Arthur Gibson, sons of Mr John Gibson, of Cambewarra, have taken their departure for the city training ground, preparatory to going to the front. They are very good specimens of the human species, have good constitutions, a sound education, of good morals, intellectual for their age, strictly studious, and keenly observant. They are good horsemen, good rifle shots, and good luck to them. ………………………………… The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW), Fri 7 Dec 1917 (p.8): FIGHTERS FROM GRENFELL [photos] GIBSON BROTHERS SONS OF MR JOHN GIBSON, OF CAMBEWARRA Sergeant S.J. Gibson, killed in action; Sergeant D.S. Gibson, at the front; Private A.F. Gibson, returned to Australia. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/239237728 The Shoalhaven Telegraph (NSW), Wed 31 Jul 1918 (p.6): OPEN COLUMN (To the Editor) Sir, – I have just read a letter written on behalf of Don Gibson, who is now lying in a London Hospital, considerably mangled. He has lost one eye, and the other is still in jeopardy. A companion of his in that Stygian field (France), and who was wounded at about the same time as Don, but who was able to look up Don’s kit, found his home address and wrote to his relatives. Now that young man’s father, mother, and sister have taken it upon themselves to do all they can to comfort the poor boy, and will be ready to receive him as soon as he is ready to leave the hospital. Therefore, he will not be thrown out among a perfectly strange people in a strange country. What inestimable consolation it must produce in the bosoms of his kin to know that, though he is 12,000 long miles away from home, he will not be neglected or without friends. How nice of the English people, that although they well-nigh all have troubles of their own, they take upon themselves the troubles of others. Yes, blood is thicker than water. …………………………………… Three of John Gibson’s sons went to the war; one returned early on the sick list; No. 2 was killed outright, and No. 3 is now lying in the shade. Whether that shade will be illuminated by one light, or will develop into dim and life-long darkness, is yet to be solved. J. NEAIN. The Shoalhaven News and South Coast……….. (NSW), Sat 28 Aug 1920 (p.4): CAMBEWARRA WELCOME HOME TO LIEUT GIBSON …………………………………………………….. The last man to return to his home and his people was Lieut D.S. Gibson, who had the misfortune to lose his sight in the fighting line through the bursting of a shell. A fine, strapping young fellow is Lieut Gibson – one who nobly played his part in the grim theatre of the war, and who is just as nobly facing the battle of life with the serious disability under which he suffers. When it became known that he was due back, his neighbours and old-time friends determined that because of his affliction they should show him special consideration, and so heartily was the matter of the proposed presentation taken up, not only in Cambewarra but elsewhere, that the committee decided to hand him a wallet of notes, totalling in value over £156, as being the most useful to him under the circumstances. The welcome home took the form of a basket-picnic in the paddock at the rear of the Cambewarra School of Arts on Wednesday last. There was a good representative gathering of local people, and after an al fresco luncheon, the presentation part of the proceedings took place. Mr W.H. Bullen presided, ……………………………………………………………………. The Gibson family was well-known and highly-esteemed, not only in Cambewarra, but throughout the whole district. Very early in the war three sons heard the call, and did their duty in Egypt, Gallipoli, and France. Their father must be very proud of his boys, and the people of Cambewarra were glad to be present to honor one of them who had suffered so much on their behalf – who had fought for King and Empire and to maintain the privileges they enjoyed as British subjects. They were glad to welcome him back to Sunny New South Wales, and he had no doubt Lieut Gibson was equally glad to be amongst his kith and kin again. …………………………………………….. Ringing cheers were given for Lieut Gibson, who sincerely thanked …………………………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/112552140 Evening News (Sydney, NSW), Sat 11 Sept 1920 (p.4): Personal A few months ago the London correspondent of the “Evening News,” Mr Southwell, wrote an article on St Dunstan’s. He specially mentioned Lieutenant Don Gibson, 5th Machine Gun Company, A.I.F., who lost his sight. Lieutenant Gibson recently returned to Australia, and is now an inmate of the Randwick Military Hospital, where he has recently undergone a serious operation. Crookwell Gazette (NSW), Wed 15 Dec 1920 (p.5): WELCOME HOME TO LIEUT BRO D.S. GIBSON HONORED BY TARALGA LODGE M.U. On Saturday last Lieut Brother D.S. Gibson, was tendered a welcome home by the members of the Loyal Taralga Lodge, Manchester Unity Order. Lieut Gibson, who unfortunately has returned from the war blinded, was the guest. The D.D. Master, Bro G.C. Goodhew, on behalf of the lodge extended a hearty welcome to their soldier brother and he was supported by D.G. Dawson, Fitzgibbon, Gordon, McKenzie, N.G. Quinn and others. The honors of the order were conferred on Bro Gibson who in reply thanked all for the kindly interest taken in his welfare while away. He also stated that since his return the order had treated him magnificently, he had to thank them for the receipt of a cheque exceeding £100. The lodge spent the remainder of the pleasant evening in harmony. Goulburn Evening Penny Post (NSW), Tue 21 Dec 1920 (p.2): TARALGA RETURNED SOLDIER Our Taralga correspondent wires: – Lieut Donald Gibson, a returned soldier, who is blind, was entertained here and presented with a gold medal and £50 as a wedding present. He will be married shortly to a Taralga young lady. The hall was crowded with people.) Crookwell Gazette (NSW), Wed 22 Dec 1920 (p.5): Welcome Home to Lieut Gibson The Taralga Hall was crowded on Wednesday evening, the 25th inst., the occasion being a welcome home to Lieut Gibson. This officer is the last of the Taralga district soldiers to return. Prior to the war Lieut Gibson was in charge of the Yorkborough School. Mr H.T.J. Dawson, President of the Taralga Welcome Home Association, was in the chair and on behalf of the Association extended a hearty welcome to Lieut Gibson. The speaker, in the course of his remarks, said that time had flown very quickly, it was 5½ years since the guest had left the district to join up and he was glad to see that after the long years of war the Lieut had returned physically fit. The President presented Lieut Gibson with a medal on behalf of the Association. The Revs P. Bramble and W. Rankin, and Messrs G.C. Goodhew, J. Fitzgibbon and H.J. O’Neil supported the chairman’s remarks. Lieut Gibson in reply, said that he found great difficulty in finding words to express his thanks for the hearty welcome extended to him that night, and also for the kind greetings of so many friends during the few days he had been in Taralga. Nearly six years ago, 5½ years to be exact, you gave me the heartiest of send-offs and promised a hearty welcome on return, but I never expected such a great time as you have given me to-night. I thank you all for the medal you have given me, but I never expected the generous present of such a large roll of notes, I trust I will show my gratitude to you by putting this money to good use, and will always think of the many kindnesses I have received at your hands, since I first came to Taralga about 8 years ago. I thank the many speakers for their words of welcome and sympathy for my affliction, as they term it; but on that point we can differ, as I do not regard it in that light. You must excuse me for being able to make a speech as I was never able to do that, and an occasion like this does not come often in a person’s experience, I will conclude by again thanking you for all you have done for me. (Applause). During the evening the President of the Welcome Home Committee presented Lieut Gibson with a wallet of notes, the gift was over £50; £30 of which had been collected during the day, the balance coming from the proceeds of the entertainment and dance. Lieut Gibson has returned totally blind. Being a young man of buoyant spirit, he bears his affliction in a manner that has surprised the public. Lieut Gibson went out as a private and won his commission on the field. The Chairman thanked all the ladies for their valuable assistance in helping to arrange the welcome homes to all the boys and for their assistance generally during the war. ………………………….. The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, …………… (NSW), Mon 24 Jan 1921 (p.2): ALL ABOUT PEOPLE There was a pleasant evening at the residence of Mr and Mrs L.C. Whiting, Lidcombe, on Saturday, 15th inst., the occasion being a linen tea given to Miss Ella Mackenzie, previous to her marriage to Lieutenant Don. Gibson. Miss Mackenzie was a previous Gundagai resident, having lived here for several months with her sister, Mrs C. Murie. Lieut Gibson was on active service at Gallipoli and France where he lost his eyesight. The wedding took place at St Stephen’s Church, Phillip-st., Sydney, on Saturday last. Before the war commenced Miss Mackenzie became engaged to Lieut. Gibson. The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW), Sat 19 Feb 1921 (p.15): WEDDING GIBSON – MACKENZIE – On Saturday, January 22, at St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, the marriage was celebrated by Rev John Ferguson, assisted by Rev C. Crane, B.A., of Ella, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs Colin Mackenzie, South Terrace, Bankstown, late of Taralga, to Lieutenant D.S. Gibson, youngest son of Mr John Gibson, Cambewarra, Nowra. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a charming gown of white crepe de chine, trimmed with pearls and filet lace, …….. Lieutenant F.R. Beazley was best man. …………………….. Later Lieutenant and Mrs Gibson left for Melbourne and Sassafras, Vic., the bride travelling in a champagne crepe de chine frock, with touches of royal blue. Mr and Mrs Gibson’s future home will be 84 Prospect Road, Summer Hill. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/239730023 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Tue 21 Mar 1922 (p.9): HELP FOR THE BLIND With reference to the special appeal made by Lady Pearson for Australian support for the Arthur Pearson Fund, Mr D.S. Gibson points out that a small provisional committee has already been formed to undertake the work of forming a Federal executive and committees in each State for the purpose of inaugurating an appeal throughout the whole of the Commonwealth. The committee, which consists of Messrs A.L. Blythe, Russell Sinclair, and O.H. Ibels, with Lieut Gibson, late of St Dunstan’s, as honorary secretary, hopes soon to arrange a series of public meetings with the object of furthering the movement. In the meantime, and during the absence in England of Captain Nobbs, who has actively interested himself in the project, subscriptions and offers of help will be received by the honorary secretary, care of Mr A.L. Blythe, Post Office-chambers, 114A Pitt-street, Sydney. The Shoalhaven Telegraph (NSW), Wed 24 Sept 1924 (p.2): Local and General News Lieut Ulric Walsh, on Monday night, referred feelingly to the calamity that befell Lieut Gibson at the war, when he was permanently blinded by the explosion of a shell. Lieut Walsh and Lieut Gibson were in adjoining rooms in a billet. The exploding shell struck the room in which his comrade was, causing that officer to lose his sight. It might have been his (Lieut Walsh’s) fate. The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Wed 11 Nov 1931 (p.1): BLIND HOPE When The World Raced By Armistice Day through sightless eyes – what did those mad, wild hours convey to those who had been doomed by Fate to a world of utter darkness? ………………………………………………… And so, bravely, the little band faces a new life. Their president, Captain Aarons, has turned to literature,……………………… Three others, Messrs George Wilson, D.S. Gibson, and Thomas Gibson, trained as masseurs in London after the war, and are practising now in Sydney, rubbing life into damaged limbs. ……………………………………………………………. http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/224290287 The Sun (Sydney, NSW), Sat 3 Nov 1934 (p.3): HAVE NOT EYES BUT THEY SEE “Eyes are not the only gateway to the mind. I have gained an impression of entering the Harbor, and have made my own picture of your great bridge,” said Sir Ian Fraser, M.P., and blind director of St Dunstan’s Hospital for blinded soldiers, London, on arrival to-day by the Niagara from Canada. Sir Ian, who is accompanied by Lady Fraser and their daughter, is a delegate to the British Empire Service League Conference in Melbourne, with General Sir Alexander Godley, who came by the Monowai yesterday. Mr Clutha Mackenzie, director of Auckland Blind Institute, also arrived by the Niagara to attend the Blind Soldiers’ Conference, over which Sir Ian will preside. About 2500 Empire ex-soldiers were sightless as a result of war, said Sir Ian, and all were linked with St Dunstan’s, which directed activities in training these men for occupational and other needs. “There have been organisations and institutions for the blind since early times,” said the visitor, “but not until these battalions of young men came back from the war blinded was the public conscience awakened. “Ample funds were then forthcoming for their training. We teach them to read Braille and type, obtaining new skill and knowledge.” Sir Ian Fraser and Mr Mackenzie were welcomed by Captain Gilbert Nobbs, chairman and managing-director of Holbrook’s; Mr D.S. Gibson, masseur; Captain Foxton – all former friends; Col. Hyman, acting-State president of the R.S.L.; and Mr Harnet, Sergeant-at-Arms of the State Parliament, representing the Empire Parliamentary Association. [More about Sir Ian Fraser and St Dunstan’s]: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/17121389 The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), Mon 23 Aug 1954 (p.18): DEATHS GIBSON, Donald Stewart – August 21, 1954, at R.G.H., Concord, of 84 Prospect Road, Summer Hill, loving husband of Ella, and dear father of Marjorie, and father-in-law of Russell. FUNERALS GIBSON – The Relatives and Friends of the late DONALD STEWART GIBSON, of 84 Prospect Road, Summer Hill, are invited to attend his Funeral; to leave the Metropolitan Funeral Home, Railway Parade, Burwood, This Day after service commencing at 2.45 p.m. for the Rookwood Crematorium. GIBSON – Members of the 2nd M.G. Btn. (1st A.I.F.) Association are invited to attend the Funeral of their late Past President, DON GIBSON. For particulars see family notice. Lest we forget. GERALD CADDEN, Pres RAY RAMAGE, Hon. Sec. Notes: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C392774 AWM Private Record PRO1354: Description “Typed transcript (32 pages) of a diary written by Captain Donald Stewart Gibson, covering his service at Gallipoli and the Western Front. The diary spans June 1915-April 1918. The transcript also includes copies of photographs, news clippings and biographical information relating to Gibson's personal background and post-war life.”