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Civilian Occupation: Horwich Locomotive Worksthomas bibby

Thomas Bibby was 21 when he died at on the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres, Passchendaele on 31/7/1917.

His sacrifice is recalled at Ypres on the Menin Gate Memorial and he is recorded in the Chorley Memorial Album in Astley Hall on page CMB/II/18b. He attended Sacred Heart, Chorley.

Notes of his life and service include:

Called up on 4th August, 1914, and served in France. Took part in the Battles of Festubert and Givenchy. Wounded 18th July, 1916. Killed 31st July, 1917 at Ypres. Had just received pass to return home on a month’s leave, having complete his term of service when he was killed. Aged 21 years. Attended Church of the Sacred Heart.

A Chorley Guardian photograph 25/8/1917 gives address as Standish Street.

War History of 1st/4th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment (1921) has as number Coy D.

The Register of Soldiers’ Effects notes he was killed in action in Belgium 31/7/1917. His father, John, was the sole legatee.

His Service Record Survives. He was 18 years and 10 months old when we attested, and though the date this took place is unclear on the front sheet, we can assume from information below that it was 5/6/1912. His Medical Examination took place on 5/6/1912. He was a Labourer with the Lancashire and Yorkshre Railway Company in Horwich. It confirms his address as 74 Standish Street, Chorley. He was posted 5/6/1912, taking part in training in 1912 and 1913. He chose to continue to serve from 5/6/1917, though his 5 year service to the Territorial Force would have officially concluded. Interestingly he was awarded a £15 bounty 13/7/1917.

He served at home 5/6/1914 to 3/5/1915, in France 4/5/1915 to 6/7/1917.. he was at Home again 17/7/1916 to 2/12/1916 and then in France 3/12/1916 to 31/7/1917. His father, John, is given as next of kin at 74 Standish Street, Chorley.

There is an interesting anomaly with what appears to be the record for a William Bibby inserted within Thomas’s record. This may not be the case as this indivicual joins in 1914 and dies in 1917 on the same dates as Thomas, and a sheet with William’s initials has Thomas’s Service Numnber, though this is not the case for every record linked to W Bibby. The W Bibby has a Medical History beginning on 3/3/1912 aged 16 years. The disciplinary record sheet for 20071 is attributed to TW Bibby.

1911 Census has him at 74 Standish Street, Chorley: John (56, Head, Municipal Gas Work Labourer, Born in Pollockshaws, Scotland) Margaret Bibby (50, Wife, Card Room Rover, Married 27 years, 9 children, 4 living, 5 dead, Born in Chorley), Mary Jennett Bibby (18, Daughter, Ring Spinner, Born in Chorley), Thomas Bibby (15, Son, Drawer Reacher in Mill, Born in Chorley), Harold Bibby (3 months, Son, Born in Chorley).

1901 Census has him at 74 Standish Street, Chorley: John (46, Head, Gas Works, Labourer, Born in Pollockshaws, Scotland) Margaret Bibby (41, Wife, Born in Chorley), John Bennett (18, Son, Print Works, Textiles, Born in Chorley), Maggie Bibby (12, Daughter, Cotton Creeler, Born in Chorley), Mary Jennett Bibby (8, Daughter, Born in Chorley), Thomas Bibby (5, Son, Born in Chorley), Alice Costells (23, Daughter, Frame Tenter, Cotton Mill, Born in Chorley), Theresa Costells (1, Granddaughter, Born in Chorley).

Rank: Private
Service No: 200271
Date of Death: 31/07/1917
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st/4th Bn.

Adam Cree
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