"Without fear and with a manly heart"
The Great War Letters and Diaries of Private James Herbert Gibson
Private James Herbert (Herb) Gibson was 26 years old when he volunteered for service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. Born near Perth, Ontario and descended from Scottish settlers, Gibson enlisted against his father's wishes because he viewed the war as justified and felt he needed to do his part. "Without fear and with a manly heart" collects his personal letters and diaries as well as those sent to him by family and friends. They reveal his beliefs, hopes, realizations, and tragedies through an account of his contribution to the war.
The letters trace Gibson's wartime service from 1916 to 1919 from his enlistment and training with the 130th (Lanark and Renfrew) Battalion to his service on the Western Front with the 75th Battalion. Gibson was wounded twice, first near Vimy during the Gas Raid of March 1917 and again more seriously during a night patrol in July 1918 which ended his war. He also had to deal with tragedy on the home front from afar. Gibson's religious beliefs significantly influenced and sustained him through his darkest hours. He felt himself a gentle man caught up "on an errand the full consequences of which we did not realize."