Crichton Ivie GORDON

GORDON, Crichton Ivie

Service Number: 5343
Enlisted: 27 January 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 25th Infantry Battalion
Born: North Pine, Queensland, Australia, 7 June 1894
Home Town: North Pine, Queensland
Schooling: North Pine School, Brisbane Technical College, Queensland, Australia
Occupation: Joiner
Died: Died of wounds, France, 16 April 1918, aged 23 years
Cemetery: Dernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Plot V111, Row H, Grave 11
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kallangur Pine Rivers Memorial Gates, North Pine State School Roll of Honour, Petrie North Pine Presbyterian Church Roll of Honor, Strathpine District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

27 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 5343, 25th Infantry Battalion
8 Aug 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 5343, 25th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Itonus embarkation_ship_number: A50 public_note: ''
8 Aug 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 5343, 25th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Itonus, Brisbane
16 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 5343, 25th Infantry Battalion


GORDON Crichton Ivie #5354

Crichton Gordon born in 1894 was the son of Andrew and Jessie Gordon of Auchpine, North Pine (Petrie). He attended North Pine State School and then went on to the Brisbane Technical College where he qualified as a joiner. He secured employment with James Campbell and Sons, cabinet makers and joiners in Albion.

The Gordon family were well known in the North Pine district, with social events at their home often reported in the local press. Crichton was often known as Ivie Crichton, and his initials are listed in this way on the Shire Roll of Honour. It is also reported that he went by the name of Ike. Andrew Gordon when completeing the Roll of Honour circular after his son’s death recorded that Crichton had three cousins who had died of wounds during the war, one of whom is most likely Alexander Gordon mentioned above.

Crichton presented himself for enlistment in Brisbane on 27th January 1916. He was 21 years old, 6’ tall and weighed in at just under 160 lbs. He stated his religion as Presbyterian. Like most recruits during this period, Crichton spent some time in a depot battalion at Enoggera before allocated as a reinforcement for the 25th Battalion.

The 25th Battalion was one of four battalions recruited from the less populous states making up the 7th brigade of the 2nd Division AIF. The Battalion had seen action at Gallipoli in the later months of that campaign and by the time that Ike enlisted, the 25th were making the move from Egypt to the Western Front in Northern France.

Ike boarded the “Itonus” in Brisbane on 8th August 1916. He allocated three shillings of his daily pay to his family. The reinforcements landed in Plymouth and marched out to the 7th Training Battalion at Sutton Veney. Ike finally caught up with his battalion on 18th December 1916. The entire 2nd Division were in winter quarters on the Somme still recovering from the battles of Pozieres in July and August, and Flers in November. The battalion had suffered a large number of casualties during that period and reinforcements were sorely needed.

With the coming of spring in 1917, the Germans holding the line on the Somme began a strategic withdrawal west to a line of heavy fortifications which had been constructed throughout the winter. This new line was known at the Hindenburg Line and the 2nd Division, cautiously following the withdrawal, came up to the line at Bullecourt. An attempt had been made to breach the Hindenburg Line by the 4th Division in April. This attack failed miserably due to an over reliance on tanks, all of which got lost, broke down or were hit by artillery. The second attempt at Bullecourt by the 2nd Division took a more conventional approach but still failed to gain and hold any objective. After Bullecourt all the Australian Divisions were pulled out of the line for extended rest, reorganisation, training and reinforcement. For the 25th Battalion, this period lasted from May until September 1917.

The summer of 1917 heralded a new offensive by the British in Belgian Flanders. The 3rd Battle of Ypres (often referred to as Passchendaele) began with an assault on the Messines Ridge in June. Once the ridge was secured, a series of advances were planned along the line of the road which ran east from Ypres towards the Passchendaele Ridge. The 2nd Division were called back into the line for the Battle of Menin Road in September, thus ending the period of rest for the 25th Battalion. With the success of this battle, the next objective was Polygon Wood, followed by Broodesinde Ridge. The 25th Battalion were in the centre of the line at Broodesinde in late October. As they advanced under the creeping artillery barrage, they were astonished to encounter an advance by the Germans on the reverse slope. It was discovered that the Germans had planned an advance of their own on the same day and at the same time. The Australians quickly gained the upper hand and dug in on the new front line.

During the last five days of October, the 25th had to weather a sustained artillery bombardment comprising high explosive, mustard gas, chlorine gas and tear gas. The battalion war diary records that about 90% of the men were effected by gas, so much so that the battalion could not raise a fatigue party of 100 men when requested by divisional HQ. The 25th was relieved in early November and sent to the rear areas around Dickebusch. On the 5th November, Ike reported to the battalion aid station suffering the effects of gas from the days before. He was loaded onto an ambulance train. The entire train was loaded onto a channel ferry and then made its way to the 1st South General Hospital in Birmingham. The speed at which men could be evacuated to hospitals in England was a credit to the planning of the British.

Ike would spend the next four months in England recovering from the effects of gas. His father was advised by telegram that he had been gassed and again advising of Ike’s address. After a period of convalescence at Hurdcott Ike was posted back to his unit, arriving at Poperinghe on 22nd March 1918. The day before Ike’s arrival at the 25th billets, the Germans launched their spring offensive on the Somme. With the British 5th Army in retreat, Amiens was threatened. Haig swiftly moved brigades from the 4th and 2nd divisions south to form a defensive line in front of Amiens.

During April, a series of battles blunted the German advance but it would take time to establish a strong defensive line. On 16th April, while being relieved by the 26th Battalion, three companies of the 25th were caught moving down the support lines by a heavy artillery barrage. Casualties were heavy and among the dead was Ike Gordon.

It is recorded that he died of wounds, but there is no record of him reaching a field ambulance or a casualty clearing station. Ike was buried in the Albert Road British Cemetery and a temporary wooden cross was erected over his grave.

A parcel of Ike’s personal effects was loaded onto the “SS Barunga” for despatch to Ike’s parents. On 15 July 1918 the Barunga was torpedoed by a German submarine south of the Scilly Isles. She sank quickly with all cargo being lost but all survivors were rescued. Ironically, the Barunga was previously registered as the Sumatra, and had been confiscated from the German owners by the Australian Government in Sydney in August 1914. When Andrew Gordon wrote to the authorities enquiring about his son’s effects, he was informed of the loss.
In 1925, Ike Gordon’s remains were reinterred in the Dernacourt Communal Cemetery with a permanent headstone. The Gordon family and wider community ensured that the memory of Ike would endure. As well as being listed on the Pine Rivers Roll of Honour and the Strathpine Patriotic League Roll, his name appears on the North Pine State School Roll, the North Pine Presbyterian Church Roll and the Roll of Honour of employees of James Campbell and Sons.


Pte Crichton Ivie Gordon

François Berthout

Today, the sun of the Somme has disappeared behind the gray clouds but I would like to bring a little sun to the memory of a man who gave his today for our tomorrow. Today I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 5343 Crichton Ivie Gordon (third grave below from left - see picture) who died of his wounds 102 years ago,on April 16, 1918.🌺

Crichton Ivie Gordon was born June 17, 1894 in North Pine, Queensland and was the son of Andrew and Jessie Gordon and lived in Bribane, Queensland. Crichton was educated in North Pine and at Brisbane Technical College. Before the war he worked as a joiner

Enlisted at Brisbane on 2 February 1916 and went into camp where he was attached to the 25th Australian Infantry Battalion, 14th Reinforcement. He embarked with his unit from Brisbane aboard the HMAT A50 Itonus on 8 August 1916 and sailed for England and completed his training in the plains of Salisbury then he left for France and fought in Ypres in the first line where he was gassed on October 31, 1917 and evacuated to England.

on March 6, 1918 he joined his battalion in France and was engaged on the Somme front but on April 16, 1918 he was wounded on the battlefield and evacuated but he died a few hours later at the age of 24

Today, Crichton Ivie Gordon rests in peace at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery, Somme.

Thank you sir, today we commemorate the anniversary of your death with great respect but we also commemorate the young man that you were, more than a young boy, you did your duty nobly, you were a man of honor, a hero and in our hearts, we will keep the memory of your sacrifice with a lot of gratitude and a lot of love, the Somme will never forget.At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him, we will remember them.🌺

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Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Crichton Ivie GORDON was born in North Pine, Queensland on 7th June 1894

His parents were Andrew GORDON & Jessie HAY

He enlisted on 27th January, 1916 and embarked with the 25th Infantry Battalion, 14th Reinforcements on the HMAT Itonus from Brisbane on 8th August, 1916

Crichton died of wounds in France on 16th April, 1918 and is buried in the Dernancourt Communal Cemetery

His name is honoured on the Australian War Memorial