Baxenden Lads: Gibson E

8th July 1943

PTE. 123454 EDWARD (TED) GIBSON was a driver with 71 General Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps, attached to the Royal Army Medical Corps. He died of sickness on July 8th 1943 in Tunisia, North Africa. Ted had served throughout the North African campaign until the surrender of the German forces just two months before his death.

In 1939 Ted lived with his parents, two sisters and his brother at 549 Manchester Road, Baxenden. Then, at the age of twenty, he enlisted in the Army. He formerly worked at Howard & Bulloughs engineering works, Accrington. A short time after 1939 his family moved to 1 Pansy Street, Accrington.

When the news of Ted’s death was received at Howard & Bulloughs, a colleague, Samuel Maudsley, wrote to his mother “Ted was greatly respected by his workmates and foreman, and was most valuable and honourable as a colleague. He will be greatly missed, and please accept this note as a token of our universal sorrow.”

Ted is buried in Thibar Seminary War Cemetery, Tunisia. The Seminary was founded in 1895 as an agricultural college by priests known as the ‘Peres Blancs’ (White Fathers), a missionary society which worked throughout French Africa. It is set amongst extensive vineyards and farmland in the hills west of Tunis. The War Cemetery is next to the civil cemetery on the slope of a hill in a corner of a bird sanctuary which surrounds the Seminary. Pencil cypresses grow on three sides, roses, pinks, geraniums, iris and freesia bloom in the borders, and a honeysuckle and begonia fence gives colour and scent for most of the year. Ted lies in this beautiful place with 98 other British soldiers.