Robert Frank "Bobby" Gifford



Jun 10, 1893

Born in Sydling, Dorsetshire, England to George and Annie Gifford


Mar 23, 1912

Embarked the RMS Royal George in Bristol, England with his brother Victor Gifford.  Victor later joined the 2nd Battalion CEF


Mar 30, 1912

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Peterborough, Ontario


Oct 26, 1914

Shown on the payroll of the 57th Regiment, Peterborough Rangers


Nov 4, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario 

Ø      Number 59363 (temporary number 523)

Ø      Next of kin given as George Gifford, father, Sydling, Dorsetshire, England

Ø      Previous occupation given as Teamster with the Canadian General Electric Company

Ø      Previous military experience given as 57th Regiment, Canadian Militia

Ø      Religion given as Church of England

Ø      Assigned to “E” Company

o       This was later reorganized into “C” Company 

The battalion trained in the Kingston area through the winter with headquarters in the Kingston Armouries


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent to continue training


Sep 14, 1915

Embarked the St. Seiriol in Folkestone


Sep 15, 1915

Disembarked in Boulogne, France and the battalion proceeded to St. Omer


May 19, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Lance Corporal with pay to replace 59759 L/Cpl JH O’Keefe who had been promoted


Jun 24, 1916

While the battalion was in the front line trenches near the Bluff, L/Cpl Gifford had just arrived at the “C” Company cookhouse a short distance from the front line when a German 5.9 shell burst virtually in the centre of the cookhouse, killing him instantly.



Above is from the book Ordinary Heroes by Stephen Nichol, page 76



His comrades buried him in the Bedford House Cemetery a short while later and erected a wood cross to mark the grave.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission later replaced this with a granite headstone.

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, George Gifford, Sydling, Dorchester, England. 

The Memorial Cross was sent to his mother, Mrs. Annie Gifford, at the same address


L/Cpl Gifford is honoured on the War Memorial in Peterborough, Ontario

He is also honoured in his hometown in the churches of Stratton, England

St. Mary's Church

St. Nicholas Church

The above are from

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