1866 31 October: Frederick (Fred) Giles Gibbs is born in London to James and Mary Gibbs (nee Waine).
1877 Fred arrives in Nelson with his widowed mother and siblings. Fred attends Bishop’s School and Nelson College.
3 August: Fred is on a motorcycle road tour when he is told in Dovedale that Germany has declared war against Russia.
6 August: Fred records that Britain and hence, NZ, is at war with Germany.
16 August: Fred notes the increased war-related activities in the city, saying “War excitement at fever heat,” but doesn’t think the war will last very long.
24 January: Fred answers letters in the Colonist newspaper directed against Herr Julius Lemmer, the German born principal of the Nelson School of Music. It is the start of a virulent campaign against Lemmer whom Gibbs supports throughout the war.
7 February: “No important war news, except engagement on Suez Canal in which two Nelson men wounded & Germany’s declaration of submarine blockade of Britain”. This is the week William Ham dies of wounds received in the Suez battle, becoming the first New Zealand active casualty of the war.
8 August: Fred writes about the success of a Gala Day for Sick and Wounded Fund which starts with a procession, followed by displays, races, “gambling shows & produce stalls [which] did a roaring business”.
30 Jan: Summer holidays in Nelson and “in case of age limit for recruits being extended have taken tramps to get fit”.
25 April: Fred is at school cleaning cupboards on the first Anzac Day.
30 July: Fred records flood damage “in Maitai washing away bridges at Hanby Park & Pole Ford”.
1 October: The fighting on the Somme is being reported in newspapers: “Very heavy casualty lists coming through. About 200 killed & 500 wounded in last night’s paper alone”.
16 September: Fred records that over £4,000 was raised during a Daffodil Day fundraiser.
23 September: The explosion on board the Port Kembla “caused great excitement on Tues”.
21 April: “Another sad week. On Monday morning news reached Lemmers that Adolph had died of wounds on 6th inst. Both of them were frightfully cut up”.
3 November: Fred mentions the influenza epidemic for the first time, saying it “has almost paralysed business in Auckland.”
10 November: Excitement is building that Germany is about to capitulate.
17 November: Fred describes the week in which the war ended. He also recorded that the influenza epidemic was now serious in Nelson, “though not many deaths so far. “
24 November: Fred writes he has given his week over to helping out during the epidemic and “have been given a good deal to do, esp. Friday – carrying medicines, soup, puddings, picking lemons, chopping wood, etc…”
27 April: “Friday, Anzac Day. I did not go to service at Church Steps”.
27 July: Fred describes the preparations and celebrations for Peace Day.
16 January: Fred Gibbs dies at his Collingwood Street home aged 86.