The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Captain Gregory James Gibson, 47th Battalion, First World War

Accession Number PAFU2014/137.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 27 April 2014
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Joanne Smedley, the story for this day was on Captain Gregory James Gibson, 47th Battalion, First World War.

Film order form
Speech transcript

Captain Gregory James Gibson, 47th Battalion
DOW 28 March 1918
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 27 April 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Captain Gregory James Gibson.

Gregory Gibson was born in Mackay, Queensland, on 26 March 1886 to Martin and Ellen Gibson. He attended the Hirani State School and then went on to Brisbane Grammar. Both of his parents died in 1905 and he and his siblings moved apart. Gibson became a law clerk and worked in various offices around Queensland. For two years he was a government officer in New Guinea. After his return he moved into the Crown Solicitor's office in Brisbane and undertook further study to become a barrister. He had passed the preliminary and intermediate barrister's exams and had a month to go before he could sit for the final when he decided to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force in May 1915. Later the following year his younger sister Lily would also enlist as a staff nurse with the AIF.

Gibson was commissioned a second lieutenant on his entry into the army. He left Australia for Egypt in November 1915, where he was transferred to the 47th Battalion and promoted to lieutenant. Shortly afterwards his battalion embarked for France to fight on the Western Front.

The 47th Battalion's first serious experience of battle on the Western Front came at Mouquet Farm in August 1916. The battalion suffered considerable casualties, including Lieutenant Gibson. He was shot through the leg just below the knee and had to be taken to England for treatment. He rejoined the 47th in November.

The following year Gibson was promoted to captain. In October 1917 the battalion participated in an attack near the Belgian village of Zonnebeke. It attacked over wet and soggy ground and made good progress, surviving a number of strong German counter-attacks, but was gradually forced back to its original lines. Once again Gibson was a casualty, suffering a serious wound to his left buttock. It took him many months in England to recover, and he did not rejoin his battalion in the field until February 1918.

On 28 March 1918 the 47th Battalion was in the front line near a railway cutting that bordered the village of Dernancourt. The Germans attacked and forced an entry into the battalion's line, although they were quickly forced back out. The Australians could see more and more Germans arriving in buses behind the lines, but continued to successfully defend against German attacks throughout the day.

Here Captain Gibson became a casualty for the third and final time. Although evacuated to a nearby field hospital, he had sustained a penetrating wound to his abdomen and did not survive long. He was considered by the commanding officer of his battalion to be "a very able officer indeed" and his loss was greatly mourned among his comrades.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my right, along with more than 60,000 others from the First World War. There is no photograph in the Memorial's collection to display beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Captain Gregory James Gibson, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in the service of our nation.

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