Captain William Hamilton Gibson

Biography of Captain William Hamilton Gibson

William Hamilton Gibson was born in Paisley, on the 3rd January 1890. William was the son of John Gibson, a clothlapper, and the family home was at Fernside, Mary Street, Paisley. William attended Paisley Grammar School before joining the University of Glasgow to study Medicine in 1909.

William matriculated for classes in Botany, Zoology, Physics, and Chemistry in 1909. His University career had a good start, and William was awarded a Second-Class Certificate for Physics in his first year. By October 1910 he had completed the First Professional Examination in Medicine, and began classes in Anatomy, Physiology and Materia Medica and Therapeutics in preparation for the Second Professional Examination. A couple of resits delayed William’s progress slightly, but perseverance saw him complete these classes by 1914. In 1915 he sat exams in Pathology and Medical Jurisprudence and Public Health, followed by classes in Surgery, Clinical Surgery, Practice of Medicine, Clinical Medicine, and Midwifery in 1916. After successfully passing his exams in these final subjects, William graduated MBChB on the 8th April 1916.

Having graduated from University, William joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and served both at home and abroad in the ongoing war. By the end of the war, William had been promoted to Captain. Once demobilisation had taken place, William took over the long-established medical practice of Dr William Russell of Paisley.

William – now Dr Gibson - quickly began to take an interest in public affairs, and for a number of years served on the town council, being elected to the magistracy in 1928. He resigned in 1930 in order to take up an appointment as visiting physician to two hospitals in the local authority.

William’s duties extended well beyond his medical practice. He was examiner to the St Andrew’s Association, lecturer to the Provident Co-operative Ambulance Corps, honorary surgeon to the Boy Scout movement, and the leading figure in the local branch of the British Legion in its work in helping men who had served in the last war. He had been chairman of the Panel Committee and he was a member of the British Medical Association, having been elected in 1921, as well as director of the Royal Victoria Eye Infirmary.

When the Second World War broke out, William joined the Civil Medical Service, and devoted his time to developing First Aid Posts within Paisley. These were set up to train people to deal with casualties, and William was the Medical Officer and Casualty Surgeon in charge. On the 5th of May 1941, a parachute mine was dropped on Paisley, and exploded on the First Aid Post. 92 people were killed inside the First Aid Post, with only a handful of survivors escaping the blast. Dr William Hamilton Gibson was killed in the explosion, alongside Dr Leo Skinnider – another Paisley doctor and University of Glasgow alumni.

William was survived by his wife, Grace, and three children – John, Iris and Stella.

Summary

Captain William Hamilton Gibson
Rank: Captain
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps
Degree: MB ChB
Awards: N/A
Comments: N/A
Note/Press Clipping: N/A
Photo ID: N/A

Sources

Paisley Aid Post Disaster

British Medical Journal May 31, 1941 p. 837

University of Glasgow Medical Records: MED5/2/10

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