James Leslie GORDON

Poppy

GORDON, James Leslie

Service Number: 1057
Enlisted: 12 September 1914, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Staff Sergeant
Last Unit: 4th Field Ambulance
Born: Port Pirie, South Australia, 22 March 1884
Home Town: Glenelg, Holdfast Bay, South Australia
Schooling: St Peter's College, University of Adelaide (Law)
Occupation: Solicitor
Died: Killed In Action, Gallipoli, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 24 July 1915, aged 31 years
Cemetery: Beach Cemetery - ANZAC Cove
(II.C.4.) Beach Cemetery., Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Adelaide Members of the Legal Profession & Students at Law WW1 Honour Board, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Rowing Club WW1 Pictorial Honour Board, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Glenelg and District WW1 & WW2 Honour Board, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

12 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 1057, 4th Field Ambulance, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 1057, 4th Field Ambulance, HMAT Berrima, Melbourne
24 Jul 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Staff Sergeant , SN 1057, 4th Field Ambulance, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

More about James

James Leslie Gordon of Glenelg was born at Port Pirie South Australia in 1884. While at the School, he achieved first class honours in English, Latin, French, Greek and Chemistry and in 1899 won the Open Farrell Scholarship. Upon leaving the School, he entered Adelaide University, where he won four Stow prizes for exceptional work as a law student. The winners of three Stow Prizes receive the medal, and are entitled to the distinction of Stow Scholars – the blue ribbon of the law course. He is the only student who has been Stow Prizeman for four years.
The Governor presented him with the Stow medal at the University commemoration in 1904 and later articled to the law firm of his uncle Sir John Gordon.
During his time at Anderson and Gordon, barristers and solicitors James, a keen student of politics became an enthusiastic debater and developed his gift for public speaking. His reputation in the South Australian legal profession grew and he was highly regarded.
He enlisted at Morphettville in September 1914 and was posted to B Section, 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corp. He was and promoted to Sergeant in October then to Staff Sergeant on 22 December on the day he sailed from Melbourne aboard HMAT Berrima.
July 24- Shelling with high explosive pretty bad ... they came without warning.... Good deal of shelling during the day... Gordon J L killed.
It was often said after the war that had it not been for his death at just 31 years of age James, like his uncle John would have made an indelible mark on the legal profession in Australia. With their youngest son Alan then in training at Mitcham Camp and Kenneth still listed as ‘missing’, when informed James had been killed the Gordon family’s already heavy burden of grief must have turned to total despair.
On 18 August 1915 with Kenneth Gordon still missing since the landing and some confusion over the fate of James, their uncle Sir John Hannah Gordon then a Supreme Court Judge in Adelaide, cabled the Minister of Defence.
On 20 August Sir John Gordon received this reply:
REGRET CONFIRM RECEIPT OF DEATH OF TEN FIFTY SEVEN STAFF - SERGEANT JAMES LESLIE GORDON FOURTH FIELD AMBULANCE ON FIRST INSTANT NO OTHER PARTICULARS AVAILABLE AT PRESENT NEXT -KIN ALREADY ADVISED.
In a desperate attempt to gain information about their lost son, the Gordon family, like so many other grieving families, placed a notice in an Adelaide newspaper.
No. 1144, Private K.D. Gordon, B Company, 10th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, has been ‘missing’ since the landing at Anzac on April 25. His relatives at Glenelg have not heard from him since then, and will be grateful if any returned soldier can give them information concerning him.
A Court of Inquiry convened in September 1917 found 1144 Private Kenneth Douglas Gordon was killed in action on the morning of the landing.
On 19 February 1919, Mrs Gordon received a letter of notification stating her other son James was killed in action on 24 July 1915 and buried in C Beach Cemetery at Gallipoli.
Her younger son, Second Lieutenant Alan Forbes Gordon, 43rd Battalion, survived the war and returned home in 1919.
GORDON - To the most dear and honoured memory of Sgt James Leslie Gordon, 4th Field Ambulance, and Pte Kenneth Douglas Gordon; 10th Battalion, who died at Anzac. Pro Deo et Patria.'

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Biography

"...1057 Staff Sergeant James Leslie Gordon, 4th Australia Field Ambulance from Glenelg, South Australia, seated at a desk in his tent at Gallipoli. A 30 year old solicitor prior to enlisting in the AIF on 12 September 1914, he embarked for overseas as a Sergeant from Melbourne on 22 December 1914 aboard HMAT Berrima. He was killed in action on 24 July 1915 and is buried in Beach Cemetery at the southern end of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

From the book Falllen Saints - James Leslie Gordon of Glenelg was born at Port Pirie South Australia in 1884. While at the School, he achieved first class honours in English, Latin, French, Greek and Chemistry and in 1899 won the Open Farrell Scholarship. Upon leaving the School, he entered Adelaide University, where he won four Stow prizes for exceptional work as a law student. The winners of three Stow Prizes receive the medal, and are entitled to the distinction of Stow Scholars – the blue ribbon of the law course. He is the only student who has been Stow Prizeman for four years. [i]

The Governor presented him with the Stow medal at the University commemoration in 1904 and later articled to the law firm of his uncle Sir John Gordon.

During his time at Anderson and Gordon, barristers and solicitors James, a keen student of politics became an enthusiastic debater and developed his gift for public speaking. His reputation in the South Australian legal profession grew and he was highly regarded.

He enlisted at Morphettville in September 1914 and was posted to B Section, 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corp.  He was and promoted to Sergeant in October then to Staff Sergeant on 22 December on the day he sailed from Melbourne aboard HMAT Berrima.

July 24- Shelling with high explosive pretty bad ... they came without warning....  Good deal of shelling during the day... Gordon J L killed.[ii]

It was often said after the war that had it not been for his death at just 31 years of age James, like his uncle John would have made an indelible mark on the legal profession in Australia. With their youngest son Alan then in training at Mitcham Camp and Kenneth still listed as ‘missing’, when informed James had been killed the Gordon family’s already heavy burden of grief must have turned to total despair.

On 18 August 1915 with Kenneth Gordon still missing since the landing and some confusion over the fate of James, their uncle Sir John Hannah Gordon then a Supreme Court Judge in Adelaide, cabled the Minister of Defence.

On 20 August Sir John Gordon received this reply:

REGRET CONFIRM RECEIPT OF DEATH OF TEN FIFTY SEVEN STAFF - SERGEANT JAMES LESLIE GORDON FOURTH FIELD AMBULANCE ON FIRST INSTANT NO OTHER PARTICULARS AVAILABLE AT PRESENT NEXT -KIN ALREADY ADVISED. [iii]

In a desperate attempt to gain information about their lost son, the Gordon family, like so many other grieving families, placed a notice in an Adelaide newspaper.

No. 1144, Private K.D. Gordon, B Company, 10th Battalion, 3rd Brigade, has been ‘missing’ since the landing at Anzac on April 25. His relatives at Glenelg have not heard from him since then, and will be grateful if any returned soldier can give them information concerning him. [iv]

A Court of Inquiry convened in September 1917 found 1144 Private Kenneth Douglas Gordon was killed in action on the morning of the landing.

On 19 February 1919, Mrs Gordon received a letter of notification stating her other son James was killed in action on 24 July 1915 and buried in C Beach Cemetery at Gallipoli.

Her younger son, Second Lieutenant Alan Forbes Gordon, 43rd Battalion, survived the war and returned home in 1919.

GORDON - To the most dear and honoured memory of Sgt James Leslie Gordon, 4th Field Ambulance, and Pte Kenneth Douglas Gordon; 10th Battalion, who died at Anzac. Pro Deo et Patria.' [v]



[i] St  Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, August 1915, p. 68
[ii] 4th Australian Field Ambulance  War Diary, Medical dental and Nursing  24 July 1915, AM 4 26/47/8.
[iii] National Archives of Australia: B 2455, Gordon James Leslie / 4787396, viewed 13 May 2006
[iv] Adelaide Chronicle, 6 November 1915, p. 43
[v] The Register, (Adelaide SA) 25 April 1927, p. 8

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Biography contributed by Alexander Bandjak

James Leslie Gordon was born in Port Pirie, South Australia on the 22nd of March, 1884. James had two brothers, Kenneth Douglas Gordon and Alan Forbes Gordon.

James went to school at St Peter's College, South Australia where he received an outstanding education. He was recognised in the national newspapers for his outstanding work. He received 4 Stow prizes between 1901 and 1904 while at St Peter's (refer to Source 1 and 2).  Shortly after attending school at St Peter's, James Gordon furthered his education by attending Adelaide University where he received First Class Honours in English, Latin, French, Greek and Chemistry. When in University he was a keen student and excelled in public speaking and debating.

After leaving university, James’ uncle Sir John Gordon employed him at his law company and James became highly regarded in the South Australian Legal profession. This made it easy for James to be employed in jobs of his choice.  

On the 12 of September 1914 James enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force (AIF) for World War 1. James enlisted in Adelaide South Australia. According to South Australian Law Society documents, 120 members of the South Australian Legal community enlisted in Australian and British forces. Among those who went to Gallipoli were 68 practitioners, 26 of them were admitted during World War 1.

On 22nd of December 1914, James left Adelaide to serve with the AIF in World War 1. He was the sergeant of the Fourth Field Ambulance. The Fourth Field Ambulance were those who would take the wounded and injured back to the hospital or back to a nurse in the trenches.

James Leslie Gordon was the only known SA based lawyer to die in action. He was killed in action by high explosives, according to records from one of his helpers.  Everyone in the ambulance was killed.

 James was killed in action on July 24, 1915 (Refer to Source 3).

 

 

 

 

RefrencesJames Leslie Gordon

Source 3: James Leslie Gordons death note in the national newspaperJames Leslie Gordon

Source 2: This is when James got noticed for outstanding work at St PetersJames Leslie Gordon

Source 3: This this the awards, which james achieved during schooling

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01116.037/

https://rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/explore/people/208812

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/87312722/8617570

https://www.lawsocietysa.asn.au/Inbrief/2016/April/280416.aspx

https://www.adelaide.edu.au/records/archives/cuttings/Volume_5_Index.pdf

 

 

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