Biography

Birth date: 16 August 1891
Birth place: Australia: Tasmania, Launceston
Death date: 19 October 1963
Death place: Australia: Queensland, Torquay
Final rank: Lance Corporal
Service number: 23 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 41st Australian Infantry Battalion

Sidney "Bernie" Gordon was born at Launceston, Tasmania, and enlisted in the AIF in September 1915. He soon showed that he had considerable courage and initiative, although he was not always a model soldier when out of the line. He was first wounded in France in October 1917, and in August 1918 his conduct beyond Le Hamel earned him the Military Medal. Less than three weeks later, 26 27 August 1918, came the action for which he received the Victoria Cross.

During an attack to advance the Australian line towards Fargny Wood, 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".

Gordon was wounded a few days later, and the award of the Victoria Cross was announced while he was in hospital. Returning to Australia, he became a Queensland dairy farmer and father of nine children. He died at Torquay, Queensland, at the age of 72.

Gordon was awarded the Victoria Cross, Military Medal, service medals for the First World War and coronation medals for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.

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Rolls and Awards

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 18 May 1916
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney
  • Recommended for: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 41st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Recommended for: Military Medal
  • Unit: 41st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Victoria Cross
  • Unit: 41st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Awarded: Military Medal
  • Unit: 41st Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Collection Items

Timeline

Date of birth 1891-08-16
Date of embarkation 1916-05-18
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-08-12
Date of honour or award 1918-08-27 Awarded the Victoria Cross for action at Fargny Wood, east of Bray, France whilst serving with 41 Battalion, 11 Brigade, 3 Division as a Lance Corporal.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-17
Date of death 1963-10-19