The AIF Project

Bernard Sidney GORDON

Regimental number23
Date of birth16 August 1891
Place of birthLaunceston, Tasmania
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationCooper machinist
AddressTownsville, Queensland
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 7"
Weight126 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Evelyn Gordon, Oriental Hotel, Valley, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date27 September 1915
Place of enlistmentTownsville, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name41st Battalion, Headquarters
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/58/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 18 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll41st Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Work near Hamel on 8 August 1918.
Recommendation date: 12 August 1918

Victoria Cross

Recommendation date: 17 September 1918

FateReturned to Australia 18 January 1919
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Plaque in Queensland Garden of Remembrance

Victoria Cross

'For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 26th-27th August, 1918, east of Bray. He led his section through heavy shell fire to the objective, which he consolidated. Single handed, he attacked an enemy machine gun which was enfilading the company on his right, killed the man on the gun, and capturing the post, which contained one officer and ten men. He then cleared up a trench, capturing twenty nine prisoners and two machine guns. In clearing up further trenches he captured twenty two prisoners, including one officer, and three machine guns. Practically unaided, he captured, in the course of these operations, two officers and sixty one other ranks, together with six machine guns, and displayed throughout a wonderful example of fearless initiative.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919

Military Medal

'On the 8th August, 1918, during the attack east of HAMEL, Private GORDON single handed attacked a machine gun crew which was holding up his section. He killed the crew and captured the gun. Later on in the day he stalked and killed an enemy sniper. Throughout the operation he displayed much bravery and devotion to duty.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61
Date: 23 May 1919

Discharge date19 April 1919
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 16 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 20 July 1916.

Found guilty while at sea of being absent without leave, noon, 15 June-noon, 17 June 1916: awarded 21 days' detention and forfeited 23 days' pay.

Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 2 November 1916 (tonsilitis).

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 6 November 1916; discharged, 23 December 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 47 days.

Proceeded overseas to France, 31 December 1916; rejoined 41st Bn, 5 January 1917.

Found guilty, 22 July 1917, of being absent without leave from 9 pm, 22 July, until 6 am, 23 July: admonished and forfeited 1 day's pay.

Found guilty, 9 August 1917, of conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline (1) leaving the ranks without permission (2) urinating on the parade ground: awarded forfeiture of 3 days' pay.

Found guilty, 27 August 1917, of being absent without leave from 9 pm, 24 August, until 3 pm, 25 August 1917: awarded 21 days' Field Punishment No 2 and forfeited 26 days' pay.

Found guilty, 24 September 1917, of being absent without leave from 9 pm, 24 September, until 10 am, 28 September 1917: awarded forfeiture of 28 days' pay; forfeited a total of 30 days' pay.

Wounded in action, 2 October 1917 (shrapnel wound, face and hand), and admitted to 10th Casualty Clearing Station; transferred to 14th General Hospital, Wimereux, 7 October 1917; to 1st Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 8 November 1917; to 3rd Australian Division Base Depot, Rouelles, 12 November 1917; rejoined Bn, 23 November 1917.

Granted leave to England, 13 February 1918.

Found guilty of drunkenness while on leave, 14 February 1918: admonished.

Rejoined Bn from leave, 25 February 1918 (day unclear on record).

On leave to Paris, 7 July 1918; rejoined Bn from leave, 2 July 1918.

Wounded in action, 1 September 1918 (shrapnel wound, left hand), and admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred same day to 37th Casualty Clearing Station; to 6th General Hospital, Rouen, 2 September 1918; to England, 4 September 1918, and admitted to Military Hospital, Boscombe, Hampshire, 5 September 1918. Discharged on furlough, 12 October 1918, to report to No 4 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 26 October 1918.

Awarded Military Medal.

Marched out to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 3 December 1918.

Commenced return to Australia on board HT 'Margha', 18 January 1919; arrived Melbourne, 5 March 1919, for onward travel by sea to Brisbane; discharged (medically unfit), Brisbane, 19 April 1919.

Medals: Victoria Cross, Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death19 October 1963
Age at death72
SourcesNAA: B2455, GORDON Bernard Sidney

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