John Turner Gibbons (1882–1917)


Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 75386 4th Battalion C Coy


John, born at Wheatcroft, the son of Wheatcroft farmer Daniel Gibbons and his wife Elizabeth, was known in the district as the owner of a popular shire horse which he showed around the area. He enlisted in 1916 and married Mabel Annie Alton shortly after. He was called-up in January 1917, but just five weeks later he died of cerebro-spinal meningitis in a sanatorium at Sunderland, with his wife by his side. He is buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Crich, and is remembered on the war memorial there.

Newspaper reports

Derbyshire Courier, 31st of March 1970
After having been in the Army only five weeks, Private John Gibbons, of Plaistow Green, Crich, died on Tuesday in hospital at Sunderland from spotted fever. The deceased who had been ill for a fortnight, was of fine physique. He was 35 years of age and was married on 2 December last year. He was well known and respected throughout the district, especially by the farming community, being the owner of a shire horse which traversed various parts of Mid-Derbyshire. His wife was informed of his serious condition over a week ago, and she went to Sunderland, where she remained up to his death. It's expected that the body will be bought to Crich for internment.

Derbyshire Courier, 7 April 1917
The interment took place at the Parish Churchyard, Crich, on Saturday, of Private John T Gibbons, of Wheatcroft, Crich, who died at Sunderland Sanatorium the previous Tuesday. The deceased had been in the Army for a short period, having joined the Sherwoods but five weeks prior to his death. The body was bought to Wingfield Station, and was afterwards conveyed to Crich. The mourners were Mrs J T Gibbons (widow), Mr D Gibbons (father), Stephen and Daniel (brothers) Sissy and Janie (sisters), Mr Robert Marshall (Lea Moor, brother-in-law), Mrs S Gibbons (sister-in-law), Mrs J Alton (Plaistow green, mother in law), Mr Philip Alton (Newton), Mr George Alton (West houses) Mr Harry Alton (Nottingham), Mr Leonard Altmann (Blackwell), Mr Fred Alston (Plaistow green brothers-in-law), Mrs P Alton, Mrs G Alton, and Mrs L Alton (sisters-in-law), Mr Thomas Platts, and Mr Harold Platts. The bearers were the Messrs John Wilton, Freeman Thorpe, John Hopkinson, and Joseph H Smith. The Rev W Bunting conducted the service. Floral tributes were sent by the widow, "Father and Mother," "Sissy and Bob," "Stephen and Mary" "Janie" "Mrs Alton and Fred" "Brohers in law at Newton, Westhouses, Blackwell and Nottingham" J Wilton, Mr and Mrs F Barnes, Mr and Mrs Job Hopkinson, officers of the Sherwoods, C Company, and NCOs Sherwood Foresters.

Army Service Record
Attested 19 January 1917 at Derby; address Wheatcroft, Crich; aged 31 years 1 month; occupation farmer; height 5ft 5in. He asked to be in the Veterinary Corps. His next-of-kin was his wife Mable Annie Gibbons (née Alton) whom he married on 2 December 1916 at Crich. She was living at Plaistow Cottage, Crich. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
24/6/16 Deemed to have enlisted
19/1/17 Called for Service
24/6/16 to 27/3/17 Home
13/02/17 Posted
27/3/17 Died at Borough Sanatorium, Sunderland of Cerebro Spinal Meningitis
Medical records state admitted to Borough Sanatorium 12 March 1916 died 27 March 1916 (believe this an error, should be 1917)
22/9/17 Wife awarded pension of 13/9 a week from 8/10/17

Medal Index Record
He was awarded the Victory and British War Medals.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Initials J T
Nationality United Kingdom
Rank Private
Regiment/Service Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment)
Unit 4th Bn
Service No. 75386
Date of Death 27/03/17
Casualty type Commonwealth War Dead

War Graves Certificate for John Turner Gibbons

John Turner Gibbons in St Mary's Churchyard, Crich

Photo courtesy Peter Patilla

John Gibbons headstone 1917

27TH MARCH 1917

Soldiers' Effects Book
John Turner Gibbons; 4th Bn Notts & Derby Regt; Private 75386; died at Sunderland 27.3.17; War Gratuity not admissable; paid out to:
22.6.17 widow Mabel A £1 15s 1d


1891: Wheatcroft

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Daniel Gibbons Head 37 Farmer Crich
Elizabeth Gibbons Wife 41   Milford
Hannah M Gibbons Daughter 12   Crich
Daniel Gibbons Son 9   Crich
John Turner Gibbons Son 8   Crich
George Gibbons Son 5   Crich

RG12 piece 2746 folio 79 page 9

1901: Wakebridge

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
John Gibbons servant 18 Farmer Wheatcroft

RG13 piece 3231 folio 35 page 16

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Daniel Gibbons Head 58 Farmer Wheatcroft
Elizabeth Gibbons wife 61   Milford
John Turner Gibbons son 28 Farm labourer Wheatcroft
Jane E Gibbons daughter 18 Dairy maid Wheatcroft
Stanley Gibbons g.son 3 mo   Wheatcroft

RG14PN20985 RG78PN1251 RD436 SD4 ED14 SN176