Medals from the Rob Campbell Collection relating to Clevedon, Somerset

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Date of Auction: 5th December 2018

Sold for £1,000

Estimate: £600 - £800

A Naval Good Shooting Medal group of six awarded to Chief Petty Officer C. J. Gibson, Royal Navy, who was noted for war services with H.M.S. Cumberland in the Cameroons, May 1914 - October 1916, and after the war was employed as Pier Master for Clevedon Pier

1914-15 Star (184188 C. J. Gibson, P.O., R.N.); British War and Victory Medals (184188 C. J. Gibson. L.S. R.N.); Coronation 1911; Royal Navy L.S. & G.C., G.V.R., 1st issue (184188 C. J. Gibson, P.O. H.M.S. Vivid:) minor official correction to ship; Naval Good Shooting Medal, E.VII.R. (184188 C. [sic] Gibson, Lg. Sea, H.M.S. Russell, 1907 3. Pr. Q.F.) mounted for display, obverses polished, therefore nearly very fine (6) £600-£800


Provenance: Dix Noonan Webb, September 2008.

Charles James Gibson was born in Clevedon in April 1880, and joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd Class in June 1895. Having advanced to Able Seaman, Gibson’s subsequent service included in H.M.S. Russell, April 1906 - June 1908. He advanced to Petty Officer 1st Class in March 1912, and served with H.M.S. Cumberland, May 1914 - October 1916. During the latter period she was engaged in the Cameroon operations, when she captured 10 German merchant ships.

Gibson was noted for War services in the Cameroon operations, and was commended for work done in connection with the alterations of Cumberland’s Gunnery Dept., August - December 1914 (service papers refer). Having advanced to Chief Petty Officer, subsequent service included with H.M.S. Vivid and H.M.S. Marlborough. Gibson was demobilised 29 April 1920.

Extracts from Gibson’s Obituary which appeared in the Clevedon Mercury and Courier, 9 June 1945, add the following:

‘The sudden death of Mr Charles James Gibson aged 65 on the 6 June 1945 came as a great surprise and shock to his many friends and family. Shortly after lunch he was in his office at the pier House and was found in a state of unconsciousness by his wife, sadly he could not be revived. Thus came to an end the life of a Clevedonian who dedicated his life to the sea and maritime affairs. He was a most familiar and popular figure in the town, not only to the local population but also to the thousands of visitors who in times of peace flocked to the Pier and passed through its turnstiles. A genial soul, who was well liked by young and old, he could always be relied upon to convey stories both grave and amusing relating to his times at sea and also as Pier Master of Clevedon Pier. He also collated the notable catches made by the many anglers to use the Pier....

On leaving the Navy he joined Captain J G Rowles on Clevedon Pier. Less than two years later in 1921 he succeeded Rowles as Pier Master, he also was a founder member of the Clevedon Branch of The Royal British Legion which formed the same year. He was elected onto the Committee and for several years was Vice-Chairman.

A busy man he was honorary local representative of the Shipwrecked Fisherman and Mariners Society, and was instrumental in collecting substantial sums. During the Second World War not only did he do important work for the Admiralty but employed his gunnery experience in helping to train the local Home Guard units.’

Gibson is buried in St. Andrews Parish Church, Clevedon.

Sold with copied research, including photographic images of recipient.