The AIF Project

James Anderson GORDON

Regimental number2570
Place of birthMaybole, Ayrshire, Scotland
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationMiner
AddressSundown via Ballandean, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 9.5"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinFather, Thomas Gordon, Altiman Farm, Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date31 August 1916
Place of enlistmentArmidale, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name33rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/50/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board SS Port Napier on 17 November 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll25700
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 8 June 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
122
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 17 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 29 January 1917; marched in to 9th Training Bn, Durrington, 30 January 1917.

Found guilty, 8 March 1917, of being absent without leave from midnight, 8 February, till 7 am, 13 February 1917: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeiture of 18 days' pay.

Found guilty, 23 March 1917, of being absent without leave from 6.45 pm till 10 pm, 23 March 1917: awarded 2 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Proceeded overseas to France, 5 April 1917; taken on strength, 33rd Bn, in the field, 29 April 1917.

Killed in action, 8 June 1917.

Handwritten notation on Form B103: 'Buried'

Statement, Red Cross File No 1190306, 1944 Pte C.E. WEBB, 33rd Bn, 30 November 1917: 'Pte Jack Tipper of the 33rd Batt ... was with him when he was killed in "No man's land" (sic), to the right of Plugetreat (sic) in June. He was blown to pieces. Tipper told me he had written to Gordon's sister, and told her of his death, but did not say that he was blown to pieces. He told her that he had buried Gordon.'

Second statement, 2394 Pte J. TIPPER, A Company, 33rd Bn (patient, Fulham Military Hospital, Hammersmith, England), 8 February 1918: 'I have reported particulars of the death of T.G. Gordon to his sister but I do not think I mentioned that he was buried on the battle field at Messines and the Chaplain read the service - it was not [underlined] in a Cemetery.'

Third statement, 2344 Lance Corporal H. LIVINGSTONE, B Company, 33rd Bn (patient, No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 25 February 1918: 'I saw him killed at Ploegsteert Wood. He was caught be shell fragments, which knocked him about very badly, death being instantaneous. Casualty happened in the front line during a heavy bombardment ... I did not see his grave, and I cannot refer to anyone, but I heard he was buried at Prowse Panel, Ploegsteert Wood,and that the grave was marked with a cross bearing his number name and unit.'

Fourth statement, 2323 Pte W.H. HINDS, B Company, 33rd Bn (patient, No 3 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 10 April 1918: 'Before daybreak on June 8th, after our attack at Messines[,] he was buried by a shell together with Ptes. Luvington "Billy" Pomford [i.e. 1590 William POMFRET] and Pascall [5089 Leslie John PACOE]. I helped Sgt. (now Lieut.) Crowley and Pte Richardson to dig them up but all four had been killed outright. The bodies were left at the back of the trench and had not been buried when we came out 3 days later owing to the heavy shelling. We had consolidated the position and were holding the trench when they were killed. All the men belonged to B. Coy, VII Pltn, 33rd Battn, A.I.F.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, GORDON James Anderson
Red Cross File No 1190306

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