William Bernard Gibson
Serial No. 4947
2nd Battalion & 54th Battalion
William Bernard Gibson - Information
William was an English migrant that came to Australia with his family. He was a son of Norah and Charles Alfred Gibson. They settled in North Sydney, eventually residing at 31 Rosalind St. William moved to Alma Park, near Wallacia where he worked as a farmer. Just after his 21st birthday, he enlisted in the AIF in Liverpool on the 13th of January 1916. He then departed Sydney on the 8th of March 1916 on the HMAT Star of England as a Private with the 2nd Battalion.
William landed in Egypt, and was presently taken on strength to the 54th Battalion on the 20th of April 1916 at Ferry Post. In mid June, he and his new unit were shipped from Alexandria to the Western Front. Shortly after joining the frontline, the 5th Division were positioned for the Battle of Fromelles on the 19th of July. It was a horrid attack; they ran into No Man’s Land mowed down by machine gun fire. Sadly, the following day, he was in the frontline trench at Fleurbaix when he was shredded by artillery fire in a continual heavy bombardment. The Anzacs had to withdraw, leaving many of their comrades and wounded in the field. Consequently, William was listed as missing in action. Following an investigation, the army confirmed that he was killed in action by artillery. After the war ended, the War Graves Commission found his remains, and re-interred them in the ANZAC Cemetery, Sailly-sur-la-Lys in France.
His poor family had suffered with the service of four sons. The uncertainty of what happened to William was compounded by the loss of another son, Edward, in 1917.