Gibson, Ralph B

Major General Ralph Burgess Gibson
Major General Ralph Burgess Gibson

Major General Ralph B. Gibson CB, CBE, VD was born on September 15, 1894 and attended Upper Canada College. He graduated from University College with a BA in 1916.

Gibson served in the First World War, then as Commanding Officer of the Queen’s Own Rifles from April 14, 1935 to April 15, 1937 and rose to become Vice Chief of the General Staff from September 5, 1944 to February 2, 1946.

In 1947 he was appointed as Canada’s first Prison Commissioner and instituted more than 100 of the Archambault Report’s recommendations.

In 1924/25 he served as the President of the Royal Canadian Military Institute.

Service Record

  • September 1907 to May 1912 – Served in the Upper Canada College Rifle Company
  • March 31, 1913 – Enlisted as a rifleman in Machine Gun Detachment, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada
  • October 1914 – Enlisted for overseas service as a private in 19th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • November 17, 1914 – Granted a Commission as Lieutenant in 12th York Rangers
  • April 7, 1916 – Transferred to Queen’s Own Rifles
  • July 1915 – Appointed to 83rd Battalion (QOR), CEF as Lieutenant
  • April 25, 1916 – Proceed overseas with 83rd Bn
  • June 1916 – Passed as Instructor, Lewis gun School, Shorncliffe
  • July 1916 – Appointed officer in command, Lewis Gun School, Canadian Training Brigade, Sandling
  • November 1916 – Appointed to Courts Martial Branch, Assistant Adjutant General’s Department, Shorncliffe
  • January 1917 – Transferred to 123rd Canadian Pioneer Battalion and proceed to France
  • May 24, 1918 – Promoted to Captain and appointed Adjutant, 5th Battalion, Canadian Engineers, 2nd Canadian Division
  • May 19, 1919 – Demobilized
  • Awarded General Service Medal and Victory Medal
  • October 1, 1920 – Appointed Lieutenant and Brevet Captain, Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and posted to “A” Company, 1st Battalion as second in command
  • December 1921 – Appointed to command “C” Company, 1st Battalion (Upper Canada College Company)
  • March 18, 1922 – Promoted Major
  • July 1926 – Passed Militia Staff Course
  • November 3, 1927 – Appointed Regimental Adjutant
  • October 15, 1928 – Awarded Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal
  • January 1, 1930 – Awarded Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Decoration
  • April 16, 1930 – Appointed second in command, 2nd Battalion, QOR
  • 1936 – Appointed member, Examining Board, Militia Staff Course
  • September 9, 1932 – Promoted Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commanding Officer 1st Battalion
  • August 1934 – Passed examination for promotion to Colonel
  • May 6, 1935 – Awarded King’s Sliver Jubilee Medal (George VI)
  • April 13, 1935 – Promoted Colonel and appointed Commandant of Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada
  • 1937 – Transferred to Corps Reserve
  • 1937 – Awarded Coronation medal king George VI
  • July 19, 1940 – Appointed to Canadian Active Service Force as General Staff Officer I (GSOI), Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence, National Defence Headquarters with rank of Colonel
  • January 24, 1941 – Promoted to Director of Military Operations and Intelligence
  • December 24, 1941 – Promoted to Brigadier and appointed Assistant Chief of the General Staff
  • June 1942 – Appointed Deputy Chief of the General Staff
  • June 1944 – Awarded Commander of the British Empire (OBE)
  • August 31, 1944 – Promoted to Major General and appointed Vice Chief of the General Staff
  • January 1, 1946 – Awarded Commander of the Bath (CB)
  • March 16, 1946 – Retired from Active Service on demobilization
Major General R.B. Gibson, CB, CBE, VD, QC, LLD – Sixteenth Commanding Officer, 1935-1937. The original oil painting by Hal Denton, hangs in the Queen's Own Rifles Officers' Mess. Photo by Christopher Lawson, June 17, 2010.
Major General R.B. Gibson, CB, CBE, VD, QC, LLD – Sixteenth Commanding Officer, 1935-1937. The original oil painting by Hal Denton, hangs in the Queen’s Own Rifles Officers’ Mess. Photo by Christopher Lawson, June 17, 2010.

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