WILLIAM KIBBY VC
The William Kibby VC Veterans Shed is located on Kibby Avenue, Glenelg North, South Australia. Both the Shed and the street are named after William Kibby, a Victoria Cross winner who lived in the Glenelg area.
William Henry (Bill) Kibby VC (15 April 1903 – 31 October 1942) was a British-born Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to Commonwealth forces.
Kibby was born at Winlaton, County Durham, England. In early 1914, the family emigrated to Adelaide, where Bill attended Mitcham Public School. After leaving school he was employed at a plasterworks in Edwardstown, where he designed and fixed plaster decorations. In 1926, he married Mabel Sarah Bidmead Morgan; they lived at Helmsdale and had two daughters.
Although he was diminutive (168 cm (5 ft 6 in)), Kibby was a strong man and loved outdoor activities. In 1936, he joined the Militia, and was assigned to the 48 Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery.
At the Battle of El Alamein, during the period of 23–31 October 1942, Kibby distinguished himself through his skill in leading a platoon, after his commander had been killed, during the initial attack at Miteiriya Ridge.
On 23 October, he charged a machine gun position, firing at it with his Thompson submachinegun; Kibby killed three enemy soldiers, captured 12 others and took the position. His company commander intended to recommend him for the Distinguished Conduct Medal after this action, but was killed. During the following days, Kibby moved among his men directing fire and cheering them on. He mended his platoon’s telephone line several times under intense fire.
On 30–31 October, the platoon came under intense machine gun and mortar fire. Most of them were killed or wounded. In order to achieve his company’s objective, Kibby moved forward alone, to within a few metres of the enemy, throwing grenades to destroy them. Just as his success in this endeavour appeared certain, he was killed.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.
Kibby was buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, El Alamain, Matruh, Egypt Plot: XVI. A. 18.