Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 11, 1891
Place of BirthWinnipeg, Manitoba
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs Isabel Gibson, mother, 168 Walnut Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trade / Callingstock dealer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number150088
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion8th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentAugust 2, 1915
Age at Enlistment24
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathApril 1, 1982
Age at Death91
Buried AtVictory Memorial Park Crematorium, Surrey, British Columbia

Gibson, Edwin Roy

Edwin Roy Gibson was born on 11 January 1891 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His father James Gibson II was born in Bruce Mines, Ontario, the son of Irish immigrants James Gibson I (ore dresser) and Jane Cox. James’ family later moved to Barrie and then on to Innisfil in southern Ontario where James I worked as a mason and plasterer. Edwin’s mother Isabella Charlotte Cooper was born in Hamilton, the daughter of English immigrants Richard Crandall Cooper (grocer) and Jane McKune (McEwen). James II and Isabella married on 12 February 1890 in Hamilton, and then moved to Winnipeg later that year. By the mid 1890’s the young family resettled in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora) where James went into business with his brother Andrew who owned the Gibson Meat Market. Children born in Rat Portage were James III (1896) and Ethel Marion (1900). Sadly Ethel died in August of 1901 of cholera. The Gibson Meat Market was sold to Harry Hook and both James II, Andrew, and their families, moved to Winnipeg at some point before the 1911 census. Although James II was listed as a livestock buyer on both the 1911 and 1916 censuses, the brothers owned a grocery store on Alexander Avenue. James later started the chain of butcher shops under the name of Gibson and Gage.

Edwin signed his attestation paper on 2 August 1915 in Brandon, Manitoba. His occupation was given as stock dealer, his mother Isabel in Winnipeg as next of kin, and his year of birth as 1893. The 79th Battalion was recruited throughout Manitoba and mobilized at Brandon. As a Private with a Reinforcing Draft of the 79th Battalion, Edwin embarked from Montreal aboard the SS Corsican that September, arriving in England on October 5th.

Briefly with the 12th Battalion, Edwin was transferred to the 11th Reserve Battalion on November 2nd. He was admitted to the Bulford Military Hospital on December 6th for unrelated war reasons, discharged in mid January 1916 to Salisbury Plain. In early May Edwin was transferred to the 8th Battalion, joining the unit in the field on the 2nd. Just a short time later he was admitted to the North Midland Casualty Clearing Station on June 17th, suffering a shrapnel wound to the wrist. By the middle of July Edwin was admitted to the No 35 General Hospital in Calais, the wrist wound complicated with influenza. A few days later he was transferred to the No 1 Convalescent Depot in Boulogne, discharged to base details on July 28th.

On 4 August 1916 Edwin left for the 1st Canadian Entrenching Battalion, employed there until returning to the 8th Battalion in April of 1917. In the spring of 1918 he was attached to the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade Headquarters, returning to the 8th Battalion on May 15th. That summer the Canadians had several weeks of intensive training in open warfare and they were heavily involved in the last months of the war, a period known now as the Hundred Days Offensive. Edwin was granted a special 10 day leave to Paris on August 27th, and then a 14 day leave to the UK in early January of 1919. Returning from his leave, Edwin later returned to England with the rest of the 8th Battalion in late March, embarking for Canada aboard the Empress of Britain on April 24th. Edwin was discharged from service on May 8th.

Edwin returned to Winnipeg after the war, found living with his parents and brother James on Walnut Street for the 1921 census. The next year, along with his parents, Edwin moved to Vancouver where they opened a business. On 9 May 1931, in Vancouver, Edwin married widow Alma Olson. Born in Wisconsin, USA in 1892, Alma was the daughter of Norwegians August and Gunhilda (née Nelson) Carlson. At the time of the marriage Edwin was working as a civil engineer and Alma as a furrier. Later his occupation was given as surveyor for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It appears that the couple did not have any children.

Predeceased by his parents James and Isabel, both in 1928 in Vancouver, and his brother James in 1964 in Winnipeg, Edwin died on 1 April 1982 at Cedar Hills Extended Care in Langley, British Columbia. Alma died on 1 March 1989 in Jackman Manor in Aldergrove, disposition for both given as Victory Memorial Park Crematorium in Surrey, British Columbia.

Edwin’s brother James went overseas with the 101st Battalion in late June of 1916. He served in France and Belgium with the 16th Battalion, achieving rank of Sergeant. James’ returned to Canada in May of 1919.

By Judy Stockham


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