PRIVATE THOMAS GIBSON ACKROYD
No. 285170, 520 (Home Service) Employment Company, Labour Corps.
Formerly, 22314, 8th (Service) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers.
|The badge of the Labour Corps
Gibson Ackroyd was born in Stanks on 7th November 1893 and was christened the following year at St. James’s
Church, Manston. He was the second of four children born to the marriage between Maurice Ackroyd, a warehouseman, and his
wife, Emily (nee Carter). The other children were Elsie (b. 1890), Catherine (b. 1895), and Rowland (b.1899).
After leaving school, Gibson, as he was known to the family, became a cloth cutter,
which led to his employment as a ladies tailor. It was in this profession he was working for Mr Walter Albrecht at Mabgate
Mills, in Leeds prior to his volunteering for the Army.
joined the Army for the Duration of the War on 26th May 1915 at Leeds, when he enlisted into the Northumberland
Fusiliers. After a period of training, he was posted to the 8th (Service) Battalion of the regiment in Gallipoli
and he entered theatre on 14th September 1915, presumably as one of a draft of men posted to the battalion to make
up for losses encountered during the early stages of the Gallipoli campaign. By the time Gibson Ackroyd joined his battalion,
it had lost somewhere in the region of 200 men dead in Gallipoli, and it must be assumed that a significant number of the
battalion will have been evacuated due to wounds and sickness in addition to those killed or died.
|The badge of the Northumberland Fusiliers
The battalion was withdrawn from Gallipoli
in January 1916, bound for Egypt, where it stayed to reorganise and train until it was transferred to the Western Front in
France in July 1916. Gibson Ackroyd was not with it, however, as he had been wounded in action in Gallipoli on 3rd
October 1915 with a gun-shot wound to his left thigh. He was evacuated to England and treated at the 3rd London
General Hospital at Wandsworth, in London, where he arrived on 19th October 1915. At this time he was struck off
the strength of the 8th Battalion and transferred to the Depot Battalion of the Regiment. He was transferred to
Woodcote Park Military Convalescent Hospital in Epsom, Surrey on light duties on 3rd December 1915, where he was
medically graded ‘C’ with the rider that he was fit for light duties but was not fit for overseas service, and
not likely to be for at least three months.
It would appear, from surviving documentation, that Gibson Ackroyd
was held on the strength of the Depot Battalion until his eventual transfer to the Labour Corps on 30th June 1917.
On his transfer, he was posted to 411 Company, and then on to 471 and 520 Home Service Employment Companies of the Labour
Corps, and it was with 520 (HS) Coy, that he ended his military service on transfer to Z Class of the Army Reserve on 3rd
April 1919. Gibson Ackroyd married Violet Bell in the fourth quarter of 1921 in the Tadcaster registration district.
He died in Leeds aged 88 years in 1981.
|A war time magazine image of 3rd London General Hospital