The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Farmer presents father’s
gallantry medals to RSL

by Cameron Outridge

A Conondale farmer has presented replicas of his father’s bravery medals to Maleny RSL.  A proud Eddie Gordon presented the medals on Friday.   His father, Lance Corporal Bernard Sidney Gordon, earned a host of medals during World War 1 and 2.  These included the highest honours the Victoria Cross and the Military Medal.  On 8 August 1918 during the attack east of Hamel, France, Lance Corporal Gordon single-handed attacked a machine gun crew and captured the gun.  Later on in the day he stalked and killed a sniper.  Only 18 days later he was awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 26 and 27 August 1918 east of Bray.

According to the London Gazette of 26 December 1918 Lance Corporal Gordon led his section through heavy shellfire to the objective which he consolidated.   Single-handed he attacked an enemy machine gun which was enfilading the company on his right, killed the man on the gun and captured the post, which contained one officer and ten men.   He then cleaned up the trench capturing 29 prisoners and two machine guns.   In cleaning up further trenches he captured 22 prisoners including one officer and three machine guns.  Practically unaided he captured in the course of these operations, two officers, 61 other ranks together with six machine guns and displayed throughout a wonderful example of fearless initiative.”

During these operations Lance Corporal Gordon remained unscathed.  However on 1 September 1918 he was wounded a second time whilst his battalion was advancing in the Mont Sainte Quentin area.

Mr Gordon returned to Australia in January 1919, was discharged in Queensland in April and took up dairy farming on a property at Beaudesert.  During World War Two he served for a period in Queensland with the 31st Battalion, the Kennedy Regiment.  He died on 19 October 1963.

Eddie Gordon said he was loaning his father’s medals so that young people would never forget the kinds of sacrifices and bravery it required to maintain the freedom we enjoy today.  “I think that every generation needs to understand what people have gone through,;’’ he said.

“The point dad used to make was that so many men did deeds that were never written about or recognised.  We’ve still got the same timber in our younger generation.  But they need people like us, institutions like the RSL, to show them and mentor them.  We have to make sure these stories are told.  That’s what this is all about.”

Mr Gordon stated the obvious in describing his dad as a “feisty little bloke” but: “He was also a man of compassion and a very kind man”.  Maleny RSL President Frank Beattie was proud that Maleny was the only sub branch on the Coast with a Victoria Cross.  “That’s a plus for us, from the point of view of the history behind it.  This type of bravery was second nature in those times.  We should never forget them.”

Maleny RSLpresident Frank Beattie, left, accepts the medals which include a Victoria Cross
and a Military Medal from Barney Gordon’s son Eddie, a Conondale farmer.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.