Rank or Title
Date of Birth
20 May 1897
Date of Death
23 Sep 1915
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Pte William George Ibbett, 3073, 1/5th Bedfords, died of pneumonia on board the hospital ship Guildford Castle and was buried at sea on September 23rd, 1915. He was aged 18.
Christened George William Ibbett, he had switched his first names when he enlisted to avoid confusion with a comrade with exactly the same name. He was the eldest son of bricklayer John Thomas and Susan Ibbett, of 6 Warwick Road, Luton. The family had moved from Wollaston, Northamptonshire, their two youngest children, aged eight and five, having been born in Luton.
Prior to mobilisation in August 1914 he was employed as a moulder at the Diamond Foundry, and before that he worked for newsagent Mr Haylock in Barber's Lane.
News of his death was included in a letter from the Rev S. J. Nisbet Wallace, Principal Chaplain, 3rd Echelon, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, on board the Guildford Castle. He wrote: "It is my sad duty to write and tell you that your son, Pte W. G. Ibbett, of the 1/5th Bedfordshires, died of pneumonia on board this hospital ship and was buried at sea by me this morning [September 23rd, 1915]. He was brought on board on Monday last, and everything was done for him by the doctors and nurses on board, but he gradually grew weaker and passed away peacefully about 6 am this (Thursday) morning.
"I saw him at 3.30 am and stayed with him almost half an hour. I gave him the Holy Communion and also prayed with him. He was more or less unconscious after that, but he wished me to write to you. You have every reason to feel proud of your boy. He has given his life in a great cause. May God give you and yours all the comfort you need in your sad loss."