Hibbert, Alfred Kilby

From RCSigs.ca
Jump to: navigation, search
Alfred Kilby Hibbert
2 October 1884 – 25 May 1953
Place of birth Toronto, Ontario
Place of death Grand Rapids, Michigan
Allegiance Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1915-1919
Rank Sergeant
Awards DCM, MM with 2 bars

Sergeant Alfred Kilby Hibbert (2 October 1884 – 25 May 1953) was a soldier of the First World War. He distinguished himself in major battles and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal as well as the Military Medal with two bars, one of only five Canadians in the First World War to have been recognized as such.[1]

Early Life

Alfred Kilby Hibbert was born to parents William Hibbert and Priscella Smith at Toronto, Ontario. He had five siblings, a sister and four brothers. At enlistment, he listed occupation as "Embossing".


Hibbert attested for service with the 83rd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 17 August 1915 at Toronto. He was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall with blue eyes, blond hair and a fair complexion.

He sailed on S.S. Olympic and arrived in England on 7 May 1916. Initially transferred to the 39th Battalion, by the end of June 1916 he was transferred to the 4th Canadian Divisional Signal Company with whom he served until the end of the war. He proceeded to France mid-August 1916 with the unit disembarking at Le Havre on the 12th.

Hibbert was appointed Lance Corporal on 25 November 1916. He was awarded the Military Medal in February 1917 [2] for actions in October and November 1916 the the capture of Regina Trench as part of the Battle of the Somme. No doubt his promotion was in recognition of his leadership during that battle.

On 7 July 1917 he was appointed Acting Sergeant and the rank was confirmed on 29 December. He was awarded a bar to the Military Medal in February 1918[3] and awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal in November 1918 for gallantry and distinguished service in the field. He was awarded a second bar to the Military Medal in May 1919[4]

After hostilities ended on 11 November 1918, the unit remained in Belgium until April 1919. Hibbert sailed for Canada aboard R.M.S. Mauretania. As part of general demobilization, he was discharged at Toronto on 8 June 1919.

Personal Life

Hibbert married Ethel Grace Wills on 28 May 1921[5] and together they had a family, two daughters (Ethel Mae and Muriel Rose) and a son (Alfred William). The family settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA where Alfred worked as a printing press operator.[6]

Alfred Hibbert died of a heart attack at age 68 on 25 May 1953.

Distinguished Conduct Medal Citation

Sergeant Hibbert's DCM citation[7] reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while in charge of forward signal communication for the brigade. Under extremely trying conditions he successfully maintained communication by telephone with the storming battalions. The area over which he worked was continuously shelled and swept with machine-gun fire. He showed great initiative throughout and rendered valuable service.

Military Medal Citation

Lance Corporal Hibbert's MM citation reads:

During the actions of Oct 25th, Nov; 11th-18th 1916, he ran and repaired lines through barrage after barrage showing exceptional initiative and skill and disregard for his won personal safety. This N.C.O. has lined in this neighbourhood from Oct; 9th-Nov 24th 1916, without relief and has always shown utter devotion to duty.

First Bar to the Military Medal Citation

Acting Sergeant Hibbert's citation for his first bar to the MM reads:

In front of PASSCHENDAELE: 22nd to 29th Oct, 1917. This N.C.O. was employed as N.C.O. in charge of signal lines. His cheerful example and cool-headed direction of his men in this heavily shelled area was largely instrumental in the maintenance of good communication during the operations. He also laid a line during a heavy enemy bombardment, and the line being broken, repaired it several times, at great personal risk. He remained on this work until communication was ensured. This N.C.O. has shown exceptional ability and fearlessness at all times. His work during the above mentioned operations is only a single example of his continuous good work during the past fourteen months.

Related Pages

No related pages at this time

Related Items


  1. with material from an article by Brigadier-General (Ret'd) Don Banks CMM, CD which appeared in the magazine Remembrance: A salute to Canada's Fallen, Volume 2 published by the National Wall of Remembrance Association.
  2. The London Gazette, Supplement 29953. 19 February 1917. Page 1757.
  3. The London Gazette, Supplement 30540. 22 February, 1918. Page 2411.
  4. The London Gazette, Supplement 31338. 13 May, 1919. Page 6003.
  5. Ancestry.ca
  6. Toronto Star article, 9 November 2014
  7. The London Gazette, Supplement 31011. 12 November, 1918. Page 13462.