Regiment: 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Died: 29 March 1918
East Budleigh Memorial Cross, East Budleigh Memorial Tablet
Other Memorial: St Andrew's Church, Bishopthorpe; cemetery of Boisleux au Mont [Google]
PDF Download: GIBBS Edward Reginald
The son of the Rev William Cobham Gibbs, who was Rector of Clyst St Mary and who retired to Temple Hill, East Budleigh, Edward followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the clergy.
Before the war, he was chaplain to Cosmo Gordon Lang, the Archbishop of York, and had strong ties with the parish and village of Bishopthorpe near York.
He was the brother of Lt Col William Beresford Gibbs, who also died in the war.
He was well liked in the area and had been known to take children for hair-raising rides round the village in his motorbike and sidecar.
During the war he served as a chaplain 4th class in the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, and was killed by a German shell near Arras on the Western Front while attending the funeral of a soldier. The 29 March 1918 was Good Friday.
The War Diary of the Guards Brigade reported: “Situation very quiet. Some shelling during morning."
Rev Gibbs was the only man killed that day from the Guards Brigade, although three officers and seven other ranks were wounded. The Archbishop was very much affected by the Rev Gibbs’ death, and commissioned a wooden triptych in his memory. That memorial still stands behind the altar in St. Andrew's Church, Bishopthorpe. For most of the year, the triptych stands open, but on Good Friday, the doors are shut to reveal an inscription to Edward Reginald Gibbs.
He is also remembered with honour on the East Budleigh memorial and at the cemetery of Boisleux au Mont, south of Arras, where he was buried.
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