56860 Rifleman James Gibson Craig Simpson 

D Company 1st Battalion

3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade

3rd January 1918

Born at 9.30pm on 16/09/1884 in Blackhall, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Scotland.  His parents were James Craig Simpson(born in 1851) and Mary Ann Gibson(born in 1861). They were married on 06/06/1879.

James had 1 brother, John Gibson(born on 25/07/1891) and 5 sisters, Marion Gibson(01/06/1881-05/07/1939),Christina,(born in 1883),Isabella Craig(born on 18/02/1888),Elizabeth(born in 1895) and Maud(born on 31/07/1896).  

In the 1891(Scottish) census, the family were recorded as living at House O' Hill Villa, Queensferry Road, Blackhall, Midlothian. James snr was worked as a dairyman. 

The family recorded the same information in the 1901(Scottish) census. James jnr was now employed as a law clerk. 

In 1913 James and his older sister Marion emigrated to New Zealand, James finding work as a surveyors chainman(a person who works with a surveyor to measure distances).  

He enlisted on 30/04/1917in New Plymouth,having previously served for 3 years in the Lothian & Border Horse Regiment when he lived in Scotland.  

The details of his medical that took place on the same day as his enlistment are as follows;

Apparent Age 32 years 7 months, Height - 5ft 71/2 inches, Weight - 134lbs. Chest Measurement -  Minimum 34 inches , Maximum - 37 inches. Complexion - Fair, Colour of Eyes - Blue, Colour of Hair - Brown(going bald), Religious Profession - Presbyterian.

James left New Zealand on 26/07/1917 embarking at Wellington before spending 2 months at sea, eventually disembarking in Plymouth England on 24/09/1917.

He was marched into Brocton Camp on 27/09/1917 and posted to the Rifle Brigade.

On 23/10/1917, James was awarded 72 hours detention and forfeit 2 days pay after being found guilty of being absent without leave between 20/10/1917 and 6.30am 22/10/1917. The detention awarded was remitted on proceeding overseas, which is what happened as he left for France the same day.

On 26/101/1917, he was marched into Etaples Camp, France.

James joined up with his battalion on  02/11/1917 and was posted to D company.

He was killed in action on 03/01/1918.

James was awarded the 1914-1918 British War and Allied Victory medals.

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