Queen's South Africa Medal (3 Clasps - Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing's Nek) and Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal Pair - Sergeant Major W.J. Gibbs, 2nd King's Royal Rifle Corps
- Product Code: MM-4796
- Regiment: King's Royal Rifle Corps
- Era: Boer War Availability: Out of Stock
An interesting pair to Sergeant Major William John Gibbs, regimental sergeant major to the 2nd King’s Royal Rifle Corps during the Siege of Ladysmith.
Queen's South Africa Medal (3 Clasps - Defence of Ladysmith, Transvaal, Laing's Nek) named to 2724 Sjt: Maj: W.J. Gibbs. K.R.R.C.
Victorian Army Long Service & Good Conduct Medal named to 2724 R. Sgt. W.J. Gibbs. K.R. Rif. C.
The medals are in good condition.
William John Gibbs was born on 17 June 1859 in London and enlisted at Rawalpindi into the 2nd Battalion 60th Rifles (a.k.a. 2nd Battalion The King’s Royal Rifle Corps) as a Boy on 12 July 1873, aged 14 years. Living in India when he enlisted, Gibbs was “born into the regiment”, his father, Private William Gibbs, served with the 60th Rifles before being discharged in 1881 after 21 years of service. While stile a Boy, Gibbs earned his 2nd Class Education Certificate on 6 September 1875.
Gibbs entered Afghanistan on 8 December 1878 along with the 2nd Battalion at the start of the 2nd Afghanistan War, forming part of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division. The regiment was engaged throughout the entire war, earning the Afghanistan Medal with clasps for AHMED KHEL and KANDAHAR, along with the Kabul to Kandahar Star. Interestingly, his father was still serving and received the Afghan Medal alongside his son.
After spending 14 years in India and Afghanistan, the regiment was sent to South Africa to be present for the 1st Anglo-Boer War, landing at Durban on 25 January 1881. They remained stationed at Newcastle until the armistice in March, and Gibbs finally returned to England on 12 January 1882. Over the course of just three years, Gibbs went through a series of rapid promotions: lance corporal 1 July 1881, corporal 20 February 1882, lance sergeant 21 April 1883, sergeant 1 October 1883, and colour sergeant 7 June 1884. He was awarded the Long Service & Good Conduct Medal without gratuity on 1 October 1891, his 4 years of underage service being counted towards the medal.
Gibbs was sent with the regiment to Gibraltar on 2 December 1891, Malta on 13 January 1895, South Africa on 16 July 1896, and India on 6 April 1899. During this time, Gibbs was promoted to be the 2nd Battalion’s regimental sergeant major on 5 July 1893.
The 2nd K.R.R.C. were sent back to South Africa with the start of the 2nd Boer War, landing in October 1899. Deployed to Ladysmith, the regiment was soon encircled by the enemy in a siege lasting from 2 November 1899 to 28 February 1900. As the Boer War continued, the 2nd K.R.R.C. were deployed to Ceylon, departing South Africa on 29 July 1900. For his service in South Africa, Gibbs received the Queen’s South Africa Medal with 3 clasps.
It was while at Ceylon that Gibbs requested his discharge on 1 January 1901. Posted home to finish his last few months with the regimental depot, Gibbs took his discharge on 17 April 1901, his conduct being described as “exemplary”. Gibbs had served nearly 28 years with the K.R.R.C., including more than 7 years as the regiment’s sergeant major.
Gibbs did not marry and remained closely associated with the regiment, being employed as the 1st Battalion’s Canteen Manager until he died at Ras-el-Tin, Alexandria, Egypt, on 2 April 1907 with total effects worth £1060.
Gibbs is also entitled to the Afghanistan Medal with clasps for AHMED KHEL & KANDAHAR, and the Kabul to Kandahar Star.
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