Private Norman Gibson(Croix De Guerre) 15/1311

Private Norman Gibson(Croix De Guerre)

Born. Batley, Yorkshire, 1897.
Killed In Action. 22/4/1918, aged 21.

Norman Gibson was the only son of two children born to George Willie and Jane Gibson of 6,Greenside Place, Leeds Road, Idle, Bradford. Before the war he worked in the pattern department of William Wade & Co, Cloth Merchants, Bradford.

He was a prominent member of the Greengates Wesleyan Chapel and was also the secretary to their football team.He was also a member of the Greengates Liberal Club.

One of many Bradford lads to join the Leeds Battalion, he enlisted on the 31/5/1915 just as the "Pals" were leaving Colsterdale for Ripon and, after training served in Egypt and France.

He survived all the major battles the "Pals" were involved in unscathed, but was killed in action a few months before the war ended, at that time the "Pals" were in the front line fighting alongside the French. In a letter of condolence to Norman’s mother his old commanding officer Stuart Campbell Taylor, who was now a Brigadier General wrote:

"Pte Gibson was doing his duty well and bravely, as usual, and was a special favourite of mine because of his devotion to duty and cheery and pleasant nature at all times, we all mourn a good comrade and a brave soldier"

The award for bravery, of the French Croix De Guerre, is the only one awarded to a Private soldier in the whole of the battalion, the details of this unique award were published in the London Gazette on the 30th of April 1918, 8 days after his death.

The following article was, published, in the Shipley Times & Express in May 1919.

"After mourning the loss of her only son for nearly 12 months, Mrs Gibson, of Greenside, Idle, Bradford has been presented at the Bradford Moor barracks with the French Croix De Guerre and gold star, which her son won in action… He was killed by a high explosive shell"

Pte Norman Gibson is buried in Le Grand Hasard cemetery, Morbecque, France, and is also commemorated on the war memorial at Idle Parish Church.

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