Thursday, August 30, 2018

Gibson, William - his travels and travails with the Army

William Gibson, brother of my great grandfather Finlay Gibson, enlisted in the Army on 21 June 1859. His service papers reveal he was 'absent before attestion' 22 June - in fact William had immediately gone AWOL.It does not speak of much enthusiasm for his enlistment. He rejoined his Regiment and was ordered to be inducted into his Corps as a pardoned deserter.

This was the start of a pattern of ups and downs for William as a Private in the 2 Btn 4th Regt of Foot [King's Own Royal Regiment of Foot].
He was imprisoned several times but by July 1866 seems to have settled down a bit and was awarded Good Conduct - pay 1d 7 June 1865. He was promoted Corporal 28 July 1866 to 10 August that year. 

Next we hear he is in confinement awaiting trial, losing his Good Conduct pay and reduced to Private by Court Martial for 'clearing post without authority'. He was imprisoned 15 August to 5 September 1867.

Another settled phase follows and he re-engages for the 2/4th at Dublin, completing 21 years service.

He was in trouble again and was tried and imprisoned for perjury 27 September 1870 to 19 December 1870. By 18 August 1875 he was promoted Corporal having had about a year of good behaviour. He was awarded Good Conduct Pay (2d) 7 September 1878.

He was promoted Sergeant 25 November 1878 - 11 May 1880. During that time he was serving in Natal - the period of the.Anglo-Zulu War. He survived without injury. Perhaps he wasn't in any of the hot spots of that conflict. He missed Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. The luck of the draw. He was in Natal 1 year 5 months. His Regiment, The Kings Own, had Battle Honours for South Africa 1879.

Credited 31 days service and pay for 7 Dec 1860 - 11 Feb 1861 then In confinement 12 May 1880 -31 May 1880  Reason not stated - Tried 1 June 1880; reduced to Private again 2 June 1880. Forfeit GC (1d) pay 12 May 1880
Discharged 17 Aug 1880

Movements and Medical

Arrived Chichester 22 July 1859
Admitted Hospital (no 217) Gonorrhea 27 Aug 1859-16 Sept 1859
Admitted Hospital (entry No 7) Chichester
1 Jan 1861-2 Feb 1861 (syphilis)
Arrived Chatham: 27 Aug 1861
Arrived Corfu: 11.10.1861
Admitted hospital: 12.10.1861 - 5.12.1861 (syphilis)
Arrived Cape Halonia ? 18.12.1861
Arrived Corfu 11.4.1863
Arrived Malta 4.6.1864
Hospital (174) 3.6.1865 Cause? to 8.6.1865
Hospital (29) 6.2.1866 Constipation to 10.2.1866
Arrived Halifax Nova Scotia 27 April 1866
Re-engaged (Dublin) 21 years service 7 July 1868
Arrived Chester 31 May 1869
Arrived Aldershot 14 Mar 1871 Vaccinated 26.6.1872
Arrived Woolwich 24 Aug 1872
Arrived Cork 5 Aug 1874
Arrived Curragh 4 June 1875
Arrived Athlone 10 Aug 1875
Admitted Hospital (no 10) Colic 16.1.1876-19.1.1876
Arrived Curragh 5 June 1876
Arrived Dublin 17 May 1877
Arrived Aldershot 7 Aug 1877
Arrived Natal 17 Jan 1879
Arrived Preston 13 May 1880 discharged 17 Aug 1880

1265 Pte William Gibson b June 1842 St Georges London Middlesex Pardoned deserter ordered to serve (age 17) Documents prepared at Lancaster 19 Aug 1880
Age 38 years 2 mths  Height 5' 7 & half "
Complexion: fresh
eyes: grey
hair: dark brown
Intended Place of residence: 57 Newcomen St, Borough, London.

As we've learned, he went to Stevenston, Ayrshire to join his brother Finlay at their sister Margaret's home. He may have returned to London's East End a short while after the 1881 Census shows him at Stevenston. The jury is still out on the identity of the William Gibson recorded in the 1891 Census in St George's in the East, Borough, London.

DISCHARGE PAPERS  1265 Pte William Gibson, 2 Btn 4th Regt of Foot [King's Own Royal Regiment of Foot].
Service completed 19 years 251 days; 8  a half years abroad.
Stations: Corfu 2 yrs 7 mths
Malta 1 year 10 mths
Halifax Nova Scotia 2 yrs 3 mths
Natal 1 year 5 mths 
Discharged 17 Aug 1880 at Preston
Reason: In the interest of the public service 
Granted modified pension after 18 years service by direction of the Secretary for War under article 1279 Royal Warrant 1st May 1878.

Defaulters Book entries:
Conduct Fair
Has one G C badge (good conduct)
No School Certificate for education
Appeared on Regimental defaulters 35 times including 4 Court Martials
Never wounded or injured.

Chelsea Pension No 83453A

Acknowledgements to military researcher Graham Mason.  .........

No comments: