Gibson, Alexander (No. 7079)

Gibson, Alexander


No. 7079, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Tuesday 11 March 1915 (aged 19)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Le Touret Memorial, France (Panel 42 and 43)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards


Alexander Gibson was born on 24 June 1895 in Mill Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William John and Margaret (Maggie) Gibson (nee Weir) who were married on 17 July 1876 in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.  William John Gibson from Ballysallagh was a son of Hugh Gibson, a weaver.  Maggie Weir from Ballyblack was a daughter of James Weir, a labourer.

William John Gibson worked as a labourer, carter and horse dealer and he and Maggie had at least nine children:

Agnes Mary (born 29 April 1878 in Frederick Street, Newtownards)

William John (born 4 July 1880 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Hugh (born 3 October 1882 in South Street, Newtownards)

James (born 17 June 1884 in South Street, Newtownards; died of typhoid fever 24 January 1890 aged 5)

Margaret (born 28 July 1886 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

David (born 12 September 1888 in South Street, Newtownards)

James (born 13 June 1891 in West Street, Newtownards)

Marcus (born 24 August 1893 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Alexander (born 24 June 1895 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Mary, William John and Hugh were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.

James, Margaret, David, James, Marcus and Alexander were baptised in Fourth Newtownards Presbyterian Church.

Later, the Gibson family lived at 32 Movilla Street Newtownards.

Alexander Gibson enlisted in Newtownards and he joined the North Downs.  On successive days in March 1915 Rifleman James Carnduff (No. 9294) and Rifleman Alexander Gibson (No. 7079) from Newtownards were killed in action during the Allied attack at Neuve Chapelle which had as its objective to take Aubers Ridge.  Neuve Chapelle had been the scene of heavy fighting the previous autumn and on 11 March 1915 the horrors of war were compounded during the intense bombardment when bodies that were buried in October 1914 were blown from their graves and scattered among the March 1915 casualties.

News of the deaths of Riflemen Carnduff and Gibson first reached Newtownards in a letter written by Rifleman John Weir (No. 7496) to his uncle James Weir of Mill Street Newtownards.

Rifleman Alexander Gibson (No. 7079) was 19 when he died and he has no known grave.

Rifleman Alexander Gibson (No. 7079) is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the PCI Roll of Honour for Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.