Pte. G. Ackroyd

Pte. G. Ackroyd

285170 Private Thomas Gibson Ackroyd,
520 (Home Service) Employment Company, Labour Corps,
Formerly 22314, Private, 8th (Service) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers

Mabgate Mills, Leeds (National Library of Scotland)

Thomas 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.

V Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli (© IWM HU 129392)

Gibson Ackroyd 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.

3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth (The Gazette of the 3rd London General Hospital)

The battalion was withdrawn from Gallipoli in January 1916, bound for Egypt, where it stayed to reorganise and train until it was transferred to the Western Front in France in July 1916.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.