John Thomas Gibbons

Date of birth: 1895
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment: Hampshire
Battalion: 1st
Rank / Service No: Private, 9602
Died: 1st July 1916, aged 20 years
Buried: Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, France (Plot I, Row D, Grave 25)


“Johnnie” was the seventh of 9 siblings born to James and Harriett Ann Gibbons (nee Noyce), who married in Southampton in 1881.


James, a Marine Fireman, was born in Richmond, Middlesex in 1851; he died in Southampton in 1907.

Harriett was born in Southampton in 1859; she married George Edward Matthews in Southampton in 1908 and she passed away in the city in 1938.


The family spent many years living in Spa Road, in the city centre.



Sarah ALICE   b. 1884 Southampton   d. ??

James Frederick   b. 1886 Southampton   d. 11.15 15th February 1955 on the Arundel Castle….vessel was in mid Atlantic at the time, thought to have died of natural causes.

Married Elgiva B. Till in Southampton in 1917.

George Arthur   b. 1888 Southampton   d. 1968 Winchester   Married in 1911.

Charlotte Beatrice   b. 1890 Southampton   d. 1971 Winchester   Married Barry Caplehorn in Southampton in 1918. Married George H. Orchard in Southampton in 1928.

Florence Maud (Flossie)   b. 1892 Southampton   d. ??

Ada Elizabeth   b. 1893 Southampton   d. 1969 Southampton   Married Albert E. Young in Southampton in 1913.

John Thomas

William Henry (Willie)   b. 1898 Southampton   d. 1982 Southampton   Married Sarah A. Orchard in Southampton in 1925.

Mabel Louisa b. 1901 Southampton   d. 1979 Southampton   Married Herbert V. Petty in Southampton in 1925.



The 1st Hampshire became part of the 11th Brigade of the 4th Division in III Corps prior to their departure for France in August 1914.

They were immediately in action at Le Cateau, near Mons, covering the retreat of the B.E.F.


It is probable that John was killed during the first day of the Battle of Albert, recognized also as the first day of the First Battle of the Somme.


On this day, the 1st Hampshires lost 320 men and had 265 wounded, the battalion’s worst experience of the war.

This is borne out by looking at the burial pattern in the Sucrerie cemetery; there were 150 burials on the 1 July, of which 24 were from the 1st Hampshires.


The cemetery was begun by French troops in early summer 1915, and extended to the west by British units from July 1915 until, with intervals, December 1918.

Until the German retreat in March 1917, the cemetery was never more than 3 miles from the frontline.


After the Armistice, 285 French & 12 German graves were removed to other cemeteries, hence why there are gaps in the lettering of the rows.


The cemetery now holds 1,103 Commonwealth WW1 burials.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 28th July 2016


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