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Unidentified photographer (Barbados)
William Coulthurst Gibbons, wearing a belted jacket and holding a cricket bat [Barbados]
Salt print, tinted
Private collection of Jason David Wright
William Coulthurst Gibbons (1852-1881)
1881 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
MR. WILLIAM COULTHURST GIBBONS, the second son of the late William Barton Gibbons, Esq., J.P., of the island of Barbados, was born on the 12th of December, 1852, at Farley Hill, the seat of his uncle, Sir T. Graham Briggs, Bart., in the island of Barbados.
He was educated at the Codrington Grammar school, and in February 1870 was placed by his uncle under the late Mr. John Frederick Bourne, M. Inst. C.E., the superintendent of Public Works in the island, with whom he remained till June 1871.
In the following August he entered on a course of practical instruction in the works of Messrs. G. Fletcher and Co., of Derby, and leaving them in September 1872, he became a pupil of the late Mr. William Martley, M. Inst. C.E., the locomotive superintendent of the London, Chatham and Dover railway, and there went through the various departments at that company’s works at Battersea. At the expiration of his pupilage he was employed as an assistant draughtsman by Mr. William Kirtley, who had in the meanwhile succeeded Mr. Martley.
In April 1876 Mr. Gibbons was made an inspector in the running department, and was engaged in various experiments on the line.
In January 1877 he received further advancement, being promoted District Locomotive Superintendent, residing at Chatham, and having supervision over the Sheerness, Faversham, and Margate locomotive stations.
After holding this post for three years, and while still in the company’s employment, he became a candidate for the appointment of Assistant Locomotive Superintendent in the Public Works department of India. That he was thought well fitted for the post he sought by his employers, is clearly proved from the high testimonials in his favour forwarded to the India Office, and he was selected for the appointment out of four hundred competitors.
He left England in the spring of 1880, and was first stationed at Khandwa, in the northwest province, as third class locomotive superintendent. Here he met with an accident while riding, which deprived him of the use of his right elbow. Notwithstanding the severe shock to the system, he was able to resume his duties, and so efficiently as to obtain speedy promotion by a transfer to Cawnpore. But the climate now began to tell on him, and he died of fever and congestion of the brain on the 3rd of July, 1881.
Mr. Gibbons was elected an Associate Member of this Institution on the 4th of March, 1879.
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; William Coulthurst Gibbons, Grace's Guide to British Industrial History
(Accessed: 31 July 2020)