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Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:41 pm
by Pendennis
I am trying to find information about Sgt Albert M Gisborne of the 1st/8th Battn Worcestershire regiment. I know that he was killed in action on 5th October 1918, is recorded on the Vis-en-Artois memorial, and that he was awarded the Military Medal.

I would like to know how, why and when he was awarded the medal, I've searched and searched but can find nothing.

Can anyone help?


Re: Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:20 pm
by scully

Below is an extract from the Regimental History giving details of the battle on the 5th October 1918. Hope this is of some help.


Louis (webmaster)

On the morning of 5th October 1918, amid continuous gun-fire all around, the 1/8th Worcestershire moved forward to the front line, filing forward by covered ways through the trenches of the conquered Hindenburg Line to a reserve position by the ruined houses of Mont St. Martin. There, on the banks of the Canal des Tourins, the Battalion entrenched. The other troops of the 75th Brigade were further forward, ensconced in captured trenches at Lormisset. Those trenches had been taken by an attack on October 3rd,but there the advance had been checked, for the open ground beyond the captured trenches was swept by fire from the hill on which stood the fortified village of Beaurevoir.

Already that day an attack had been made against Beaurevoir by the two leading Brigades of the 25th Division ; but the attack had failed. Bellevue Farm had been stormed, and outposts had been established close to the village; but German machine-guns on the outskirts of the ruined houses had stopped any further advance

At 3.0 o'clock that afternoon came orders for action. After dark a second attack was to be made on Beaurevoir, this time by the 75th Brigade. Preparations were made, and at 4.30 p.m. the 1/8th Worcestershire moved forward. In "artillery formation" the Battalion advanced up the slope and deployed for attack beyond the captured trenches, just below the crest line of the ridge by Lormisset: "A" and "B" Companies in front, with "D" and "C" Companies in second line. The l/5th Gloucestershire formed up on the right. The other battalion of the 75th Brigade, the l/8th Royal Warwickshire, had been detached to the left to attack Guizancourt Farm. The companies lay down and waited. The officers crept forward to the crest of the ridge, examined the ground and made final preparations for the attack (Special mention was afterwards made officially of the speed and skill with, which the Battalion Commander, Lt.Colonel H. T. Clarke, made his arrangements and dispositions for that attack. For those and subsequent services he was awarded the D.S.O.). Dusk closed in.

At 6.15 p.m. the British artillery opened a barrage fire. The two battalions, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, sprang to their feet, advanced rapidly over the crest of the ridge and pushed forward up the slopes of the hill. With their left flank directed on Bellevue Farm, the 1/8th Worcestershire soon reached and passed the line of the British outposts. The enemy's guns were firing rapidly. One shell burst among the Headquarters of "D" Company, killing the Sergeant-Major, C.S.M.W.Wheeler D.C.M., and mortally wounding the company commander, Lieut. T. L. Jones.

In ten minutes from the start the eager advance had brought the leading platoons to the line of the British barrage. The bursting shells did not as yet move on, and for some little time—minutes count as hours in battle the companies had to lie down and wait in the open. As they lay they were swept by machine-gun bullets. Some brave men of the enemy, undaunted by the bursting shells, were firing from the railway embankment and from the ruins of the westernmost houses of the village. Lewis-guns were brought into action and fired at the flashes, but the enemy were difficult to locate and casualties became numerous. Captain G. H. Smith of "B" Company was hit, together with several of his N.C.O's. That wait in the open under fire might have had bad effects on less seasoned troops; but the 1/8th Worcestershire were now old in war. As soon as the British guns lifted their fire the platoons again advanced. A platoon of "D" Company, gallantly led by 2/Lieut. E. Wedgbury, made an encircling movement through the gathering darkness round the right flank of the enemy on the railway embankment, attacked them in rear and captured 36 of them with their machine-guns.

"A" Company, commanded by Captain G. L. Watkinson, then advanced rapidly through the ruins of the village. An enemy machine-gun in the ruins of the village square opened a sharp burst of fire and stopped the leading platoon. 2/Lieut. G. H. Barber, who was commanding one of the supporting platoons, led his men swiftly forward, engaged and silenced the machine-gun, and then headed the advance on to the further side of the village (Captain Watkinson, 2/Lt. Barber and 2/Lt. Wedgbury (Glouc. Regt. attached) were awarded the M.C.). Beyond the furthest houses "A" and "D" Companies halted, and established a defensive line in the darkness in touch on the right with the 1/5th Gloucestershire.

"C" Company meanwhile had wheeled somewhat to the left, in accordance with previous orders, to gain the northern side of the village. Passing to the east of Bellevue Farm, the company came under a sharp fire from machine-guns on the left flank. The two leading platoons suffered heavy loss, both their subalterns (Lts. R. J. C. W. Hawtrey and W. S. Gundry) being hit, but Captain J. O. Walford and his men pushed on bravely and soon gained their objective. Such platoons as still remained in hand (Mostly the survivors of "B" Company under Lieut. F. W. Wiles) were then sent forward by Colonel Clarke to fill up gaps in the line on the north-eastern side of the village, around which the position of the Battalion now ran in a semi-circle (During the consolidation of the village much good work was done by C.S.M. J. Leighton, who was indefatigable in his efforts and exposed himself to the enemy's fire in order to reach the companies on the flank and gain information of their situation. He was awarded the D.C.M.). On the right the l/5th Gloucestershire had equally succeeded in their task, and were holding a line from the righ flank of the l/8th Worcestershire to the station on the railway. On the left, on the ridge across the valley to the northward, the l/8th Royal Warwickshire had gained the high ground around Guizancourt Farm (The farm was actually taken at 6.30 next morning ??).

The attack had been successful. Over 200 of the enemy had been captured (The actual figure was 205, captured as follows:—"A" Company, 100; "B" Company, 50; "C" Company, 3;"D" Company, 50; Battalion Headquarters, 2. Two machine guns were captured by "A" Company and 3 by " D " Company.), with 5 machineguns. The losses of the Battalion had totalled about 140, including four officers (28 killed, 4 officers ?. T. L. Jones {mortally}, Capt. G. H. Smith, Lt. R. J. C. W. Hawtrey, Lt. W. S. ? and 108 other ranks wounded. During the next two days the casualties included 2/Lt. H. D. King, killed, and 2/Lt. L. Goodyear, wounded)

Dawn of October 6th brought a fierce bombardment of the captured village by the enemy's artillery beyond. On the eastern outskirts of Beaurevoir a tangle of trenches, as yet untaken, sheltered many snipers and bombers of the enemy, whose activity made the defence of the village difficult and dangerous; but no serious counter-attack developed, and the 1/8th Worcestershire held the ground gained during the ensuing forty-eight hours. Then, after dark on October 7th, troops of the 66th Division came up and took over the line. The Worcestershire platoons moved back down the slope through heavy rain in the darkness, and the Battalion assembled in the valley near Lormisset. There the 75th Brigade concentrated. The troops were tired, chilled and soaked to the skin, greatcoats had not been seen for days, and the only shelters from the rain were some improvised dugouts along a sunken road; but cookers were brought up through the mud, a hot meal was issued, and the spirits of all rose grimly as orders were issued for the morrow's battle. The attack of the 1/8th Worcestershire had been the last phase of the Battle of Beaurevoir; a three days struggle in which the troops of the British Fourth Army had fought their way forward over the two miles of defended localities which intervened between the main Hindenburg Line and the last reserve line of the German defences between Cambrai and St. Quentin. Nearly all those defences had now been won, and the enemy's whole front was on the verge of giving way. Around Cambrai there were still some formidable entrenchments to be mastered; but further south only a few defended localities hastily improvised prevented the troops of the Fourth Army from breaking through into open country. Those defended localities enabled the enemy still to preserve the semblance of a defensive line. That last line was now to be attacked all along the front, allowing no pause which the enemy might use to increase its defensive strength. The attack of the 25th Division would first be made by the 7th Brigade in a north-easterly direction from Guizancourt Farm towards Serain. If successful, the advance would be continued. The 75th Brigade would follow on in reserve.

Re: Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:47 pm
by Pendennis
Thankyou so much for all that information, interesting to read that the 1/5 Glosters were there as well, my grandfather was with them and was wounded early November 1918.
Now all I have to do is try and find the mention in the London Gazette, so far not found it but it must be there somewhere!

Thanks again

Re: Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:52 pm
by corona
Hi Pendennis,
The awarding of the M.M to your relation appears in the Lon.Gaz. dated 24/1/1919.
It records ,along with other Worcesters,241362 SGT. A M GISBORNE 8TH BN.(T.F)
(ITALY) (Evesham)
No citation, covering the details of the award,appear to have survived, other than for service in the Italian campaign.

Re: Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:19 pm
by Pendennis
Well I'm blowed I looked and looked but must have missed it, you must have magic eyes, thanks so much.


Re: Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:24 am
by Mike Jones
Hi Pendennis,
Sgt Albert Gisborne was in "B" company of the 1/8th Bn.. He won his Military Medal on the night of 2/3rd August 1918. The attack is described in great detail on page 393 of Stacke and he is mentioned by name at the bottom of the page, note "C" I think.
Also in the same Company was a Pte. Harry Gisbourne. I know it is a slightly different spelling of the name but are the two related ?
Regards Mike

Re: Sgt. Albert M Gisborne 241362

PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:40 pm
by Pendennis
Thankyou for taking the time to let me know more details about Albert Gisborne and his award of the M.M. Now I have to see if I can get the book from the library and find out all about his bravery.

As far as I know he is not related to Harry Gisbourne, I have come across Albert as a result of research into his mothers family, She was Susan Elizabeth Cole who married David Gisbourne, so who knows there may be a distant connection.

Thanks so much for bothering to get in touch.