Gibson, Harry Olivier Sumner


He was the son of Walter Sumner Gibson, who was academic reader for the Oxford University Press and Julia Elizabeth Gibson, daughter of the Reverend Henry Arnold Olivier (Harry was first cousin of Lord Olivier). He came to Winchester from Hartford House, Winchfield, was Prefect of School in his last year and in 1902, won the Natural Science Prize: he also played in College XV. He was elected in 1904 to a scholarship at New College, Oxford where he graduated with a Second Class in Natural Science, and in 1908 went to Naples with a research studentship in Biology. From 1909 to 1913, he was Science Master at Lancing College and in the latter year was appointed to an assistant inspectorship under the Board of Agriculture.

A few weeks after the outbreak of war he obtained a commission in the 11th Battalion London Regiment. He served in 1915 and 1916 at the Dardanelles, then in Egypt, and in January 1917 went to Palestine in time to take part in the first attack on Gaza. He fell near the city on April 19th of that year, while advancing with his platoon to the attack under very heavy fire.

He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in St Andrew’s Church, Old Headington, Oxford. Further informaition about Lieutenant Gibson can be found here: http://www.headington.org.uk/history/war/standrew/gibson_harry.html

Mr. Gibson married in 1914 Miss Hester W. Townsend and left two children, one of whom was John Sumner Townsend Gibson (Coll. 1929-1934). He was an enthusiastic Alpinist.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Gibson
  • Forenames or initials: Harry Olivier Sumner
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1897-1904
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: London Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 13th May 1885
  • Date of Death: 19th April 1917
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer B1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: GAZA WAR CEMETERY: Grave XIV.F.8