Private Raine Gibson

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Private. 4th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) Service No: 14498.

Previously served with the King's Own Scottish Borderers, service number 22196.

A poor quality newspaper image of a soldier's head and shoulders.

Private Gibson Raine.

Early life:

Gibson Raine was born in 1897 and the birth was registered at Teesdale, Durham in the third quarter of that year. His parents were William Raine and Margaret Raine née Cleminson who were married in 1881.

In the 1901 census, Gibson Raine was aged three and living with his parents William and Margaret at 3, Ruby Street in Keighley. William was a wool sorter.
They had a large family of five daughters and four sons who were: Jane E, a combing machine minder aged 18; Jonathan, a patent doffer/minder at a worsted mill aged 16; Isabella, a full time worsted spinner aged 14; Susan A., a part time worsted spinner aged 12; John G., aged ten; William H. aged eight; Mable aged six; Gibson aged three and Mary E. aged one. Ruby Street was part of what is known as the 'Jewel Box,' five streets of nine or ten houses in each which were named after precious stones. These were Opal, Emerald, Pearl, Ruby and Diamond Street. Almost all of the family were born at Mickleton in Yorkshire except Mary, who was born at Oakworth.

The area of streets known as the Jewel Box. there are five streets named Ruby, Opal, Emerald, Pearl and Diamond.

The Jewel Box area on a map.

Margaret died aged 47 in September 1910 and was buried on 15th September at St. John's Church, Ingrow.

In the 1911 census Gibson was living with his widowed father William at 8b Bran Street, Ingrow in Keighley.
William is a grease extractor at a worsted dress goods mill. The eldest child of the household is now John George, aged 20 and an overlooker. William Henry, is 18 and a fitter for a wringing machine manufacturer. Mable is 16 and keeping house. Gibson is 13 and a doffer for a worsted manufacturer. Esther Mary, is eleven and a scholar, along with Margaret Hilda, aged nine and Alice aged seven. They most likely attend the nearby Ingrow Council School, which we are sure of because William, John and Gibson Raine are all named on the school's roll of honour.

War service:

According to the local newspaper Gibson enlisted in November 1915. There is no Army service record to confirm this, but this month and year information is supported by the amount of war gratuity payment paid to his next of kin, based on his rank and length of service when he died. At the time on enlistment he was part of the King's Own Scottish Borderers, with service number 22196.

National Library of Scotland map - See squares Q27, Q28, Q33 and Q34 on the map, for the position of Pacaut Wood.

War diary WO-95/1472/1. 4th Battalion Machine Gun Corps:

The 4th Battalion Machine Gun Corps was formed in France in February 1918 and was officially recognised by The 4th Division on 3rd March.
They then undertook a few weeks of battalion training.
In the Field.
March 20: Relieved the Guards Division companies on the GREENLAND HILL, CHEMICAL WORKS and ROUEX Sectors. Battalion HQ was established at FAMPOUX. Then to LOGAN CAMP, St. NICHOLAS where battalion HQ was established. The battalion had 62 machine guns on a 3000 yard front which were manned by half teams to enable inter-section reliefs.
The next few weeks saw defence of the Divisional line and their casualties were two officers killed, one wounded. three other ranks killed and 42 wounded. Estimated prisoners, six other ranks.
April 1:
Situation in the line normal with exceptions of heavy hostile shelling in the SCARPE VALLEY. Our MG's continue to engage various small enemy parties, especially south of River SCARPE.
April 2:
About 3.30 am enemy raided a portion of 12th Brigade front after a heavy bombardment, and effected a temporary entrance, but were driven out again by an immediate counter attack. Our guns fired on S.O.S. Lines and forward guns successfully engaged the enemy as he returned to his own lines. Hostile artillery modeartely active throughout the day. 10,000 rounds harassing fire from our guns during night. During the day gun positions in no 4 groupwere revised and new positions selected.
April 3:
Situation normal. Several new gun positions selected. 10,000 rounds fired during night on enemy communications.
April 4:
Abnormally quiet day. Hotile artillery inactive. Usual harassing fire during night by our machine guns.
April 5:
Heavy gas shelling of our intermediate line during the early morning. Enemy artillery activity
greatly increased during the day. 4000 rounds were fired during night on enemy tracks, and an internal reliefe No's 2 & 3 & 4 groups was successfully accomplished.
April 6:
Nothing of any importance to record. Usual harassing fire by our guns during night.
April 7:
First portion of relief by 1st Canadian M. G. Battalion took place. 16 teams for forward positions in no's 1 & 2 groups were relieved & returned to ST. NICHOLAS. 3 officers and 500 OR reinforcements arrive.
April 8:
16 teams relieved the previous night proceeded to MARNE CAMP, AGNEZ LES DUISANS. 1st Canadian M. G. Battalion. Take over 16 gun positions in no's 3 and 4 group. Relief successfully carried out, though delayed considerably by the extreme darkness of the night.
April 9:
Situation in line normal. The 16 teams from no's 3 & 4 groups arrive at MARNE CAMP. All men now at AGNEZ bathed and refitted.
April 10:
Greatly increased artillery activity throughout the day. Intermediate & Army lines heavily shelled from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm. In spite of this remaining 32 teams were relieved by 1st Canadian M. G. Battalion and proceeded to MARNE CAMP. Battalion headquarters closed at the Railway Cutting and reopened at MARNE CAMP.
April 11:
Day spent in bathing, refitting and cleaning up generally. Battalion received word to be ready to move at 4 hours notice. All limbers packed & everything prepared. Major W. R. Styles 12th Royal Lancers assumes duties of second in command, vice Major G. C. Shipster, appointed C.M.C.O. XI Corps.
April 12:
Division move to LILLERS area, and into the 1st Corps, 1st Army. Battalion embussed at AGNES at 2.0 pm with all gun kit, and arrived at LILLERS about 7.0 pm. Transport proceeding by road arrived at their lines in HAUT RIEUX at 3.0 am.
Situation very obscure: A, B & C Companies attached to 10th, 11th & 12th Brigades respectively, D company in reserve. Battalion headquarters established at LEPIRE Farm, 1 kilo NW of LILLERS.
April 13:
A & B Companies take over gun positions from 3rd M.G.Battalion. 32 guns in the line, majority being along line of the LA BASSEE CANAL. C company still in reserve with 12th Brigade at L'ECLEME, and D company at LEPIRE Farm.
April 14:
Battalion headquarters move to BAS RIEUX, and advanced Headquarters established at BELLERIVE. C company take over 12 guns in intermediate positions from 3rd Battalion M.G.C. 8 guns of D Company attached to 11th Brigade. 11th Brigade attacked enemy positions between ROBECQ and PACAUT WOOD with final objective a line running through RIEZ DE VINABE. This operation was very successfully carried out, objectives being gained & 130 prisoners taken. Prisoners statements show that they were taken entirely by surprise. B Company's guns went forward with the attacking infantry.
April 15:
10th Brigade attempted an attack on PACAUT WOOD, A & C companies cooperating. Enemy evidently spotted the attack before it had fully developed, and putting down a heavy barrage along the CANAL BANK seriously hindered infantry from crossing. Hostile MG's and snipers were also eatremely active: Our attack failed to appreciably advance the line, except on the Right (SW) side of PACAUT WOOD, where a post was established with an MG. About 500 x beyond original line, in LA PANNERIE Farm.
April 16:
A quiet day. Our MGs were able to successfully engage parties of enemy at various times during the day. Our artillery when shelling houses and farms drove the enemy out into the open, where our MG fire was most effective. Prisoners taken about this time all testify to the accuracy and effect of our MG fire. One section of C Company were able to do a considerable amount of sniping.
April 17:
Considerable increase on hostile artilley fire during the day, especially along CANAL BANK & neighbourhood of HINGES. Our guns again obtained excellent targets in enemy parties. B Company were relieved by D Company during the night. Relief carried out successfully.
April 18:
After a heavy bombardment of the CANAL BANK & areas near, enemy made a determined attack on the whole divisional front, with the intention of crossing the LA BASSEE CANAL and establishing a line beyond HINGES. The front of this attack fell on the 10th Brigade, holding line in front of HINGES, and the enemy succeeded in driving in our outposts here to the other side of the canal. A counter attack later, however, re-established outposts in PACAUT WOOD. Enemy parties seem to have slipped through our posts and to have been waiting near to the canal ready to cross at zero. Pioneer detachments were in readiness to bridge the canal, 'balloon' bridges being employed for this purpose.
However, owing to our fire, only one bridge was erected, and all the enemy crossing by this were taken prisoner on our side of the canal. The attack against RIEZ DU VINAGE appears to have been completely held up, and our line in the sector remained as before. Prisoners taken in this operation emphasised the difficulty they had in advancing against our MG fire.
4 guns lost in this attack, two of them were captured by the enemy who managed to work round behind them, and two were damaged by shell fire. The captured guns were without bolts at the time; if they had a supply with them and an infantry escort they would probably have managed to escape. Our casualties since the 14th were as follows, 1 officer & 70 other ranks.
April 19:
About 3.45 am small and scattered parties of the enemy were seen approaching in lines, The SOS signal was sent up, but enemy were dispersed by rifle & MG fire before the artillery barrage opened. Considerable hostile artillery activity during thee day. CANAL BANK and HINGES being favourite targets. Our MGs still getting occasional excellent targets, and taking full advantage of them. Dumps of SAA and belt boxes established by all companies in suitable positions.
April 20:
During the early morning 11th Brigade attacked enemy positions in PACAUT WOOD. In face of very heavy hositle artillery fire the operation was partially successful, and the line was established in advance of our original positions on both sides of the wood. The centre, however, was held up, and remained much as before. B Company lost the gun (damaged by shell fire) in the operation and fired 14,000 rounds in support of the infantry advance.
During the night the M. B. (Mortar Battery) defence was roused, and the Divisional front divided into four sections, each under the tactical command of the M.G. Company. This arrangement has since proved completely satisfactory. Each Comapny has had one complete section resting at their Company Headquarters, and the men have been given baths and changes of underclothing and socks.

During this period Private Gibson Raine was wounded and evacuated to No. 22 Casualty Clearing Station about ten kilometers to the South West at Lozinghem, where he died of his wounds on 20th April 1918. Private Raine was buried in grave 20 of row C in ploy IX of Lapugnoy Military Cemetery.

Keighley News 11th May 1918 page 3:

Gunner Gibson Raine, Machine Gun Corps, of 8, Briar Street, Ingrow, died of wounds in the head and face on April 20. Aged 20 years, he enlisted in November, 1915, and had been in France two years. Two brothers are serving in France.

Post war and remembrance:

Gibson Raine is named on Ingrow Council School roll of honour, St. John's Church roll of honour and the Ingrow War Memorial.
William and John are named on the school's roll of honour as serving in the Great War, with Gibson named as one of the school's war dead.

The soldier's effects records states that his father William received his remaining Army pay of £18 17s 10d on 26th October 1918 and a war gratuity amount of £11 on 10th December 1919.
He would also have received any personal effects and Gibson's service medals, which were the British War Medal and Victory Medal, plus a bronze war memorial plaque and King's Scroll inscribed with his name.
William also received a Dependant's Pension of 7 shillings per week beginning on 5th November 1918.

Information sources:

England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915
1901 England Census
West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
1911 England Census
Keighley News archives at Keighley Library
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Soldiers Died in the Great War
Army Registers of Soldiers' Effects, 1901-1929
Scottish National War Memorial:
World War I Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923
British Army World War I Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920
National Library of Scotland
The Long Long Trail website by Chris Baker
National Archives. War diary WO-95/1472/1. 4th Battalion Machine Gun Corps:

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