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St James Church Taunton

World War 1 Memorial Project

Ernest Gibbs

Nebi Samwil (Samuel's Tomb), 3 miles north of Jerusalem and where Ernest Gibbs was killed in action


Name: Ernest Gibbs

Rank: Private

Service Number: 240949

Regiment: Somerset Light Infantry

Battalion/Unit number: 1st/5th Battalion

Date/year of Birth: 1897

Place of Birth: Taunton

Place of Residence: 58 Albermarle Road Taunton

Date of Death: 23rd November 1917

Place of Death: Jerusalem

Burial/Memorial: Jerusalem War Cemetary

Ernest Gibbs was an office boy prior to the war, and was the middle of three children, having an older brother and a younger sister.  

As part of the 1st/5th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, Ernest would have travelled to the Middle East in the summer of 1917 and been involved in the Battle of Jerusalem against the Ottoman Empire Forces who held the city.  The 5th were part of the 75th Division, and were probably involved in the part of the battle known as the battle of Nebi Samwil (Samuel's Tomb).  This phase of the battle lasted from 17th to 24th November and involved taking the heavily defended village of Nebi Samwil, seen as the key to the overall objective of taking Jerusalem, and holding it against Ottoman counterattacks.  The village was taken at a heavy cost, with little support from heavy artillery, on 21st November 1917, and Ernest Gibbs probably died defending the village as support moved up a few days later.



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