DIVISIONAL UNIT: 3rd Canadian Infantry Division
7th Infantry Brigade
Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: MCG 272
RESIDENCE: Edmonton – Alberta
DATE OF BIRTH: September 5, 1886
Sheppardton – Ashfield / Colborne Township – Huron County - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: June 4, 1916 29 years 9 months
MEMORIAL: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial – Ieper –
West Vlaanderen- Belgium
PARENTS: Mr. James and Mary Gordon – Goderich – Ontario
Occupation: Law student Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: Edmonton – Alberta – June 20, 1915 into 2nd University of Alberta Company.
Enlistment Age: 26 years 9 months
The records tell us that Private Gordon departed from Canada on June 29th. Private Gordon transferred to the PPCLI on August 24, 1915 and goes overseas and joined the unit on September 1, 1915.
Private Gordon was originally with 2nd University Company (2nd McGill University PPCLI Reinforcements)
Private Gordon was originally reported missing between June 2nd and June 4th during what became known as the Battle of Mount Sorrell.
On June 2nd at 8:30 am the enemy began their barrage onto the front and support lines of the Battalion. They had brought an unusually high number, including artillery pieces to the very large calibre guns to dominate the battle zone. This increased in intensity from high explosive shells and trench mortars. The barrage lasted until 1:30pm at which time the enemy attacked and succeeded in taking the front line on the right which was No. 1 Company. They were annihiliated and No. 2 Company was able to hold the front line trench and the supporting infantry held their advance. Casualties were very heavy. In the evening the enemy suspected a counter attack and opened up with machine-gun and rifle fire along with an artillery barrage on the rear of the Battalion. Water and food was low.
During June 2nd the enemy exploded four mines underneath the Allied positions and just following that the German infantry launched a flanking attack against Sanctuary Wood where the Battalion was positioned. The enemy advanced toward Observatory Ridge until about mid afternoon.
At midnight of June 2/3 the enemy showed nervousness and at daylight began a barrage that lasted 1 ½ hours. The 49th tried to advance but failed, but this improved the position of the PPCLI. During the day the enemy shelled the Battalion’s position considerably during the day and evening. Again that night they were expecting a counter attack and brought heavy fire onto the rear of the Battalion position.
During June 4th the shelling continued but the casualties were light. In the evening the PPCLI were relieved by the 60th Infantry Battalion.
It was at some point during these three days when Private Gordon was reported missing and later found to have lost his life in action while performing his military duties.