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Vis-en-Artois Memorial. France Vis-en-Artois Memorial. France
First Name: George Alfred Last Name: GIBELLI
Date of Death: 28/08/1918 Lived/Born In: Kensal Green
Rank: Rifleman Unit: London16
Memorial Site: 1. Kensal Rise, St Martin 2. Vis-en-Artois Memorial. France

Current Information:


6, College Road, College Park, Kensal Green


The Battle of Albert was a continuation of the Battle of Amiens that had been fought earlier in the month and which had been the start of the Hundred Days Offensive that culminated in the collapse of the German army and the end of the war. On the first day, 21st August, the British Third Army attacked along a front that stretched over ten miles northwards from the town of Albert as far as Moyenneville and made significant advances everywhere. The following day the British Fourth Army came into action when they attacked the ridge of high ground that lay between the Somme and Ancre river valleys, stretching north from Bray to the town of Albert. Within a week the front along which the British, Australians and Canadians were engaged had spread north as far as Arras and the Battle of the Scarpe and the Battle of Bapaume took over from where the Battle of Albert left off. These however were official military nomenclatures and for the men on the ground the fighting was continuous and  there was little to differentiate them from each other.

On 28th August, 56th (London) Division re-entered the battle on a front roughly half way between Albert and Arras, where they attacked towards the village of Bullecourt, the scene of fierce fighting during the Battle of Arras in April 1917. 169 Brigade, with 168 Brigade in support were given the task of advancing in a south-east direction on Bullecourt itself. Despite being assisted by a strong creeping barrage from the artillery, the 16th London battalion immediately came under machine-gun fire and were confronted by deep, uncut wire, which caused them to swerve left, lose direction and end up in front of the village of Hendecourt, which was being attacked by 57th Division. Despite heavy losses, three companies of 16th London managed to establish themselves in Hendecourt along with a few men from 57th Division. Here they had both flanks unprotected and were being fire on from three sides but nevertheless managed to hang on until 5.30pm at which time they fell back to a trench, 500 yards north-west of the village. Among their many casualties during this day of heavy fighting was George Gibelli.

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