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William Kibby V.C. Print Page Print this page

19-November-2016
19-November-2016

A rest area commemorates William Kibby.

On the night of 23 October 1942 his platoon was ordered to destroy a nest of machine-guns and mortars on Miteiriya Ridge. Calling `Follow me!`, Kibby charged it with a Tommy-gun, killing three enemy soldiers, capturing twelve, and clearing the post. On the night of the 25th he repaired his platoon`s signal wires at least five times in the face of heavy fire. On the night of the 26th, while under heavy artillery fire Kibby moved boldly into the open, directing his men`s fire and co-ordinating and inspiring their defence. Before dawn on the 31st, most of Kibby`s platoon were killed or wounded.

After reorganizing the survivors, Kibby charged forward and attacked a number of machine-guns which were firing directly at him from a few yards away. He must have known that he would die, but he kept on, silencing with grenades gun after gun until a burst killed him. His Victoria Cross citation stated, `he left behind him an example and memory of a soldier who fearlessly and unselfishly fought to the end to carry out his duty`.

Location

Address:Federal Highway, near Yarra Interchange, William Kibby V.C. Memorial Rest Area, Yarra, 2580
State:NSW
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.802188
Long: 149.610215
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Park
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Military
Actual Event STart Date:23-October-1942
Actual Event End Date:31-October-1942
Link:http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonli…

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1996
Front Inscription

WILLIAM HENRY KIBBY V.C.REST AREA
Dedicated to the memory of a gallant soldier
who gave his life for his comrades
and his country

SX7089 Sergeant William Henry Kibby
2 / 4th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF
23rd to 31st October 1942, in Battle of El Alamein, Egypt

CITATION : Duration the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge on 23rd October, 1942, the Commander of No. 17 Platoon, to which Sergeant Kibby belonged, was killed.  No sooner had Sergeant Kibby assumed command than his platoon was ordered to attack strong enemy positions holding up the advance of his company.  Sergeant Kibby immediately realised the neccesity for quick decisive action, and without thought for his personal safety he dashed forward towards the enemy post firing his Tommy-gun.  This rapid and courageous individual action resulted in the complete silencing of the enemy fire, by the killing of three of the enemy, and the capture of twelve others.  With these posts silenced, his Company was then able to continue the advance.

On the night of the 30th-31st October, when the battalion attacked "ring contour" 25, behind the enemy lines, it was necessary for No. 17 Platoon to move through the most withering enemy machine-gun fire in order to reach its objective, despite his platoon being mown down by machine-gun fire from point blank range.  One pocket of resistance still remained and Sergeant Kibby went forward alone, throwing grenades to destroy the enemy now only a few yards distant. Such outstanding courage, tenacity of purpose and devotion to duty was entirely responsible for the successful capture of the Company`s objective.  

His work was an inspiration to all and he left behind him an example and memory of a soldier who fearlessly and unselfishly fought to the end to carry out his duty.  (Abridged version - London Gazette : 28th Janauary 1943)

Willim Henry Kibby was born at Winlaton, Durham on 15th April, 1903.
He is buried in the War Cemetery at El Alamein

This rest area was established and is maintained by the Roads and Traffic Authority, NSW

 

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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