Military Medal : Lance Corporal B S Gordon, 41 Battalion, AIF

Place Europe: France, Picardie, Somme, Amiens Harbonnieres Area, Hamel Area
Accession Number REL35600.002
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Award
Physical description Silver
Location Main Bld: Hall of Valour: Main Hall: Somme Advance 1918
Maker Royal Mint
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Military Medal (Geo V). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Bernard Sidney 'Bernie' Gordon was born at Launceston, Tasmania on 16 August 1891 and enlisted in the AIF in September 1915. For his actions on 8 August 1918, coined the 'black day for the German army' by the German commander Erich Ludendorff, Gordon was awarded the Military Medal. The recommendation for the award reads:

'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.'

Less than three weeks later during an attack to advance the Australian line towards Fargny Wood, near Bray, Gordon assaulted an enemy machine-gun post, then cleaned up a trench, capturing 29 prisoners and two more machine guns. In further actions he cleared other trenches, in all capturing 63 of the enemy and six machine guns. He provided 'a wonderful example of fearless initiative'. For his actions he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Gordon was wounded again in fighting near Mont St Quentin a few days later, effectively ending his active service. Returning to Australia in March 1919 he became a Queensland dairy farmer and the father of nine children. He died at Torquay, Queensland on 19 October 1963, aged 72 years.