Gordon Charles NALEY

NALEY, Gordon Charles

Service Number: 1310
Enlisted: 17 September 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1)
Born: Mundrabilla Station, Western Australia, 20 January 1884
Home Town: Eucla, Dundas, Western Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Natural causes (lung complications), Myrtle Bank, South Australia, 28 August 1928, aged 44 years
Cemetery: West Terrace Cemetery (AIF Section)
Memorials: Ballarat Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

17 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1310, Morphettville, South Australia
22 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1310, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Enlistment/Embarkation WW1, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '12' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Ceramic embarkation_ship_number: A40 public_note: ''
22 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 1310, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), HMAT Ceramic, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 1310, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), ANZAC / Gallipoli
11 Apr 1917: Imprisoned Bullecourt (First)
11 Apr 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, 1310, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Bullecourt (First), Shrapnel (left hip)
11 Apr 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 1310, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1), Bullecourt (First)
21 Sep 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal, 1310, 16th Infantry Battalion (WW1)

Corporal Gordon Charles Naley

From How We Served

1310 Private Gordon Charles Naley had been employed as a labourer when he enlisted for War Service at Morphettville, South Australia on the 17th of September 1914. Gordon was allocated to the 16th Battalion 1st AIF and was embarked for Egypt and further training on the 26th of December.

Gordon was with his Battalion when they were committed to the Dardenelles Campaign and arrived on Gallipoli in the first days following the landing on the 25th of April 1915. By the 2nd of June Gordon was evacuated as seriously ill suffering enteric fever, and following his being evacuated to Mudros Island he was then sent to England for further hospitalisation.

Gordon would recover his health enough to be deemed fit to rejoin his Unit who by this time were in the trenches of Northern France on the 19th of August 1916. Gordon's service with his unit in the field would be continuous aside bouts of sickness and by April 1917, he would be with his Battalion when they were committed to to the First Battle of Bullecourt.

On the 11th of April Gordon was cited as wounded and missing in action infront of the Hindenburg Line opposite Riencourt. Months after this his family would be advised that he was officially verified as having been wounded in action and was now a Prisoner of War. Gordon was to remain in captivity until the end of the War when he was liberated and sent back to England. Whilst convalescing in England, Gordon met Cecile Karsh and the pair would be married after only a few weeks.

Gordon and his new bride departed England bound for Australia on the 4th of June 1919, and following his return Gordon would be discharged from the 1st AIF on the 2nd of September. Gordon's health however had been greatly affected by his service and on the 28th of August 1928 Gordon passed prematurally at the age of 43, Gordon was formally interred within West Terrace Cemetery, South Australia

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Biography contributed by Keith Harrison

Gordon Charles Naley was the son of William, the station manager of Mundrabilla Station near Eucla WA, and a Mirning woman whose name is not known.

He was born at Mundrabilla Station on 20 January 1884, and the wife of William McGill (one of the station owners) became his adoptive Mother.

Gordon was working as a labourer when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 17 September 1914, less than seven weeks after the outbreak of war. He originally enlisted under the name Charles Gordon NALEY (see declarations within Service Record)

Posted to the 16th Battalion, Gordon took part in the landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915 and the fierce fighting on Pope’s Hill and at Quinn’s Post in the following month.

In late May 1915, he was evacuated with enteric fever, and due to hospitalisation on Malta and in England, could not rejoin his unit in France until August 1916.

Gordon fought in the Battle of Mouquet Farm a few days after rejoining the 16th Battalion, and after a bout of the mumps over the winter, fought in the First Battle of Bullecourt in April 1917 where he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Germans.

Gordon was repatriated to England in January 1919. Two weeks later he married Cecilia Karsh at the United Methodist Church, Fulham. He had met Cecilia during his convalescence from enteric fever in 1915/16 in England.

The couple shipped back to Adelaide on 23 July 1919 and Gordon was discharged on 21 September 1919.

Cecile and Gordon settled at Winkie (Berri district) and had six children. Gordon died at Myrtle Bank on 28 August 1928 aged 44 and was buried in the AIF Cemetery, West Terrace, Adelaide.

The Gordon Charles Naley Medal is awarded annually to the best player in a match between Australian Rules Football teams from the APY lands of South Australia and the Northern Territory. The match is played for the Don McSweeny Cup.

Source: The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial Committee