Gibson, Joseph Patrick

Gibson, Joseph Patrick (served as Patrick Joseph Gibson)


MV Empire Attendant (Glasgow), Merchant Navy

Died as a result of enemy action on Wednesday 15 July 1942 (aged 31)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tower Hill Memorial, London, England (Panel 38)


Joseph Patrick Gibson was born on 29 June 1911 in Castlemount, Bangor and he was a son of William and Isabella Gibson (nee Glenn) who were married on 12 July 1901 in St. Anne’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  William Gibson (aged 22), a labourer from 17 Castlemount, Bangor was a son of Robert Gibson, a labourer.  Isabella Glenn (aged 22), a servant from 2 North Queen Street, Belfast was a daughter of Hugh Glenn, a farmer.

The Gibson family lived in Bangor, in Castlemount and at 59 Castle Street.

William Gibson worked as a brick maker, night watchman and railway porter and he and Isabella had at least five children:

William (born 22 September 1901 in the Maternity Hospital, Belfast; his father was a brick maker and the family lived at 17 Castlemount, Bangor)

Robert (born 5 February 1903 at 21 Castlemount, Bangor)

John Glenn (born 21 October 1906 in Castlemount, Bangor)

Annie (born 13 August 1908 in Bangor)

Joseph Patrick (born 29 June 1911 in Castlemount, Bangor)

Joseph was three months old when his mother, Isabella Gibson, died of pulmonary tuberculosis in Castlemount, Bangor on 3 October 1911 (aged 33) and she was buried in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.

Joseph Patrick Gibson was a sailor and he lived at 38 High Street, Carnlough in County Antrim.  During the Second World War he served as Patrick Joseph Gibson with the Merchant Navy aboard the MV Empire Attendant.  This passenger cargo vessel was launched in December 1920 as Magnava and completed as Domala in 1921 by Barclay, Curle and Company, Whiteinch, Glasgow.  She was owned by the British India Steam Navigation Company.  Following damage sustained in an air attack in 1940, Domala was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport, rebuilt and renamed MV Empire Attendant.  She was placed under the management of Andrew Weir and Company (Bank Line).  On 1 July 1942 she sailed from Liverpool as part of Convoy OS-33 with a cargo of stores, vehicles and a quantity of explosives bound for Freetown in Sierra Leone.  On 10 July 1942 the escort vessel, HMS Pelican, signalled the Admiralty that MV Empire Attendant had broken down for the seventh time and was out of contact.  At 3.30 am on 15 July 1942, when she was south of the Canary Islands and off the west coast of Africa, the MV Empire Attendant sank after being torpedoed by the German submarine U-582.  All 59 men aboard the MV Empire Attendant were presumed drowned; there were no survivors.  In addition to Sailor Patrick Joseph Gibson (aged 31), Fifth Engineer Officer Thomas McMahon Houston and Able Seaman John Joseph Kennedy also died.  They are commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial in London.