PO/X 121475 Marine Gibbs R.M
Robert Maurice Gibbs was born on 25 June 1925, the son of Mr and Mrs C A Gibbs of 10 Atherton Crescent, Hungerford. On leaving school at 14, he worked for Adnams Corn Merchants, whose granary was at the back of the present day offices of Charles Lucas & Marshall. He was a member of the Hungerford Town Band.
He joined the Royal Marines at Lympstone on 10 August 1943, training as a Signals Operator before joining an operational Commando Unit on 15 July 1944.
On 18 August 1944 he left Newhaven for France, arriving on the 19th and was transported by lorry to Caen, there to join 4th Brigade and then 48 Commando. From here he advanced through France crossing the Seine at Duclair. His unit took part in the liberation of Pavilly and several other villages on 1 September. At 12 o'clock on the 12 September they entered Le Havre and took over the former German barracks. Between 16 and 20 September, 48 Commando were to advance to Dunkirk, carrying out day and night patrols before entering.
After rest and repairs, they crossed into Belgium at Bray Dunes on the 27 September and were in Brugges by the 29th. For the next few weeks more training took place at De Haan on the coast, east of Ostende. It was here that the briefing for the assault on the Walcheren Islands took place on 30 October 1944.
On 1 November a naval force of 181 vessels carried out an amphibious landing in the Scheldt Estuary (the gateway to the docks at Antwerp) landing with the British Infantry Brigade at Westkapelle. Despite heavy casualties, Marine Gibbs survived this assault and by 3 November his unit were helping 47 Commando to clear the last enemy strongholds around Zoutland. On 6 November they moved to Domburg for more clearing-up operations and it was here on 8 November 1944 that his Landing Craft hit an enemy mine, killing him and many of those with him.
Marine Robert Maurice Gibbs was one of 94 of all ranks killed from 48 Commando in the taking of Walcheren Islands. He is buried in the War Cemetery at Bergen-op-Zoom.
- Robert Gibbs
- Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery