Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 24, 1888
Place of BirthClare County, Michigan
CountryUnited States
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMrs. William Gibson, Step-mother, Keewatin, Ontario
Trade / CallingLabourer
Service Details
Regimental Number931100
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion225th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Address at EnlistmentWardner, British Columbia
Date of EnlistmentMarch 25, 1916
Age at Enlistment27
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 23, 1923
Age at Death34
Buried AtLake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario

Gibson, Ervin

Ervin Gibson  was born as Ervin Hume on 24 October 1888 in Clare County, Michigan in the United States.

By 1901 he was adopted by William and Sarah Gibson and living in Keewatin Ontario. Despite his young age, Ervin was working as a cook along side his adoptive parents. By the 1911 Canadian census, Ervin was no longer living in Keewatin.

Signing his attestation papers on 26 March 1916 in Cranbrook, British Columbia   Ervin was placed with the 225th  Battalion. At this time he was living in Wardner, BC and named his mother Mrs. William Gibson from Keewatin as his next of kin. He was not married and was working as a labourer. During his training in Canada Ervin was fined several times and lost ten days pay for drunkenness and being absent without leave.

On 25 January 1917 the 225th  Battalion embarked Canada arriving in England on 06 February. Upon his arrival Ervin was placed with the 16th Reserve Battalion until his transfer to the 102nd Battalion on 03 May 1917. He arrived for duty in the field on 04 June 1917. The 102nd Battalion fought in the battles at Hill 70, Ypres and Passchendaele. Ervin had a two week leave in January 1918. The Battle of Amiens began on 08 August 1918 as the opening phase of the Allied offensive which was later known at the Hundred Days Offensive. Ervin was wounded on 09 August when he received a gunshot wound to his left ankle which also fractured his tibia. He was invalided to England where he was treated in various hospitals until 14 October 1918. Upon discharge from hospital he was attached to the 1st Canadian Reserve Battalion at Seaford. By 14 December 1918 he was on command to Kinmel Park for his return to Canada. Ervin received his official discharge due to demobilization on 18 February 1919 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He returned to Keewatin to care for his mother, Sarah, who was now a widow.

Ervin took part in both the Great Receptions that were held for the returning soldiers. Kenora held their welcome home honours night as reported in the local newspaper 2 April 1919. The newspaper reported again on 9 August 1919 of the ceremony held in the neighbouring town of Keewatin for their citizens who enlisted for overseas duty. Medals and badges were presented to the men.

The 1921 Canadian census shows Ervin (now Irvine) and Sarah living in Keewatin on the north side of the railway tracks. Irvine was working as a packer in the flour miller.

It is reported in the local newspaper that returning soldier, Irwin Gibson, was struck and killed by a passing train while he crossed the double tracks in the early evening of 23 January 1923. Irwin was a well liked and respected citizen of Keewatin.

Private Irwin Gibson was laid to rest in the Tear Drop section of the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora, Ontario.   He is commemorated on the  Town of Keewatin Plaque and the Fraser plaque which were formerly displayed at the Keewatin Legion.

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