- William Wildridge Gibson (1874-1951) was born at Bath, Somerset. He was educated at Penrith Grammar School and privately at Carlisle. Gibson qualified in law and practised as a solicitor for five years. He trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Richmond with the specific ambition of entering the mission field. Gibson served as a missionary in China from 1901 to 1935 when he was invalided home. As Chairman of the Hunan District from 1920 to 1935, he was an early advocate of giving greater responsibility to Chinese ministers. Gibson superannuated in 1937. Source: Minutes of Conference 1951.
From Wu Shen Miao Mission. He came here for the morning service conducted by Rao En Chao [Assistant Chinese Minister, Hankow Mission] and has stayed on for the Blind School Committee meeting. A boat goes down river tonight so his only chance of catching it is to write now.
[William Wildridge] Gibson [Chairman of the Hunan District] has arrived. 'He is a good chap but VERY limited. Has come with his mind made up on many matters some of which he will have to unlearn. Socially he is a great success & much enlivens our C.I.M table talk. On the whole a distinct acquisition'.
Nothing is happening much. 'We are in the doldrums with a vengeance'.
Boats are being fired on as they move from Hankow to Shanghai. It looks as if for one reason or another like the southern advance has pretty well exhausted itself. However penetration is probably still going on and things may happen again without much warning.
Gordon's and Morley's [school?] reports arrived yesterday - they are not very exciting. He supposes that she has duplicates.
[James John] Heady has written a long letter which he recieved this week. It suggested among other things that H B R's name would be put before Conference again as Missionary Secretary and 'stating his attitude of keeping me in China etc etc'. H B R has replied very frankly but does not think that anything will come out of it. Nor does he really want it but he does long for his home and family.
Life is not very appealing 'under these C.I.M. conditions. It will be hard sticking it out.
He is not yet totally okay [after his attack of fever]. He seems to have chronic indigestion and it is rather a bore feeling under the weather in somebody else's house. Still he notes that Emily has plenty of troubles also.
Gibson seems to think that [William] Rowley is a bundle of nerves and would be better off at home. H B R has therefore sent him a note to that effect but does not think that he will want to leave China.
[Benjamin Burgoyne] Chapman and [Herman Stanley] Dixon have just walked in and interrupted him with their talking. The committee is also arriving so he must stop.
In a postscript, he mentions that they are trying to save the Blind School from disaster and may have succeeded. The betting would be about 50:50.