Corporal John Gibson of the Leicestershire Yeomanry was the eldest son of George E Gibson and his wife, of Highfield House, Oakham, and was born at Sedgefield, County Durham on 18 May 1895. He was educated at Oakham School and the Royal Veterinary College in London. He was at home at the outbreak of the war in 1914, and mobilised with the Leicestershire Yeomanry of which he had been a member for two years. He went out to France in October, and was in the Battle of Frezenberg around Ypres in May 1915, when the Yeomanry suffered heavy losses, including the death of its Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Percy Evans-Freke. John came out of this battle unharmed, but was mortally wounded by a rifle grenade near Vermelles on 6 February 1916. He was hit in the head, and died before he reached the Advanced Dressing Station, to which he was being accompanied by a comrade, Sergeant Major Turner. He is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery. He lies in the front row of the cemetery, in plot II, row A and the third grave along, with the inscription saying he came from Oakham, Rutland. Tributes to his gallantry and devotion to duty were paid by the officers of his regiment, Major Ricardo, and Major (then Captain) Hanbury. In letters to his parents, Corporal Gibson was described as: "A brave soldier who never saw fear" and "even did not know what it was to be frightened." An old school friend wrote: "He was one of the few people that we meet who inspires you with affection." A memorial service was held in All Saints' Church, Oakham, on the Saturday following the news of his death. It was conducted by the Vicar, the Reverend J Hamilton Charles and the Reverend R G Bisseker. John is remembered on the Oakham war memorial and also in Oakham School Chapel as well as the memorial to A Squadron Leicestershire Yeomanry in Oakham Castle.
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