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Sergeant Michael Gibson

Incident Report

Whitley Common,

  • October 18, 1940
  • Whitley Common,



Incident details. On the 14th October 1940 at Chapel Street, Coventry, 2nd Lieutenant A.F. Campbell, Sergeant M. Gibson, Sappers W. Gibson, R. Gilchrest, A. Plumb, R.W. Skelton and Driver E.F.G. Taylor were tasked to deal with a 250 kg unexploded bomb. After nearly four days it was uncovered, it was fitted with standard fuses, these were so badly damaged that they could not be removed. The electrical charge was thought to be dissipated by now, however Campbell applied a discharge tool just in case. On the 18th October 1940, 2nd Lieutenant Campbell believed the bomb was inert and could be moved. It was loaded onto a lorry and taken to a safe open space outside Coventry, possibly Whitley Common. As it was being unloaded it exploded killing all. Both 2nd Lieutenant A.F. Campbell and Sergeant M. Gibson were awarded posthumous George Cross’s for Bomb Disposal tasks. Details taken from Bomb Disposal, British Casualties of WWII. Chris Ranstead.

Personal Details

  • 4445289 Sergeant
  • Michael Gibson
  • 9 Bomb Disposal Company
  • Royal Engineers
Died on the 18th October 1940. Aged 34. Buried at London Road Cemetery, Coventry. Square 348 Collective Grave 46. George Cross Citation. The following details have been taken from the London Gazette, 22nd January 1941: “The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to Sgt M. Gibson, R.E. (since deceased).” Sgt Gibson supervised the excavation of a large unexploded bomb which fell upon a factory on 14th September 1940. Whilst working on this, another nearby bomb exploded. Gibson continued to work on his bomb and eventually it was uncovered. It was then that an unusual hissing noise was heard to be coming from the bomb. Gibson sent his men away and defused the bomb alone. His actions saved a dangerous situation. Details extracted from the London Gazette, Archives on Line.


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