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Faces of Gallipoli: John Rutherford Gordon

John Rutherford Gordon
Australian War Memorial
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Gilberton-born John Rutherford Gordon, nicknamed “Jack O’Gibraltar” on account of his formidable size, was yet another alumni of St Peters College to serve in the ranks of the scouts of No 1 Section of A Company.

 • Faces of Gallipoli: The mates who made history

John Rutherford GordonA sergeant, he survived the landing at Gallipoli, and fought with the Tenth Battalion for months until, according to a contemporary report in the Adelaide Chronicle, he contracted typhoid and was sent back to Australia.

After a year of recuperation, in May 1917 he joined the air force.

Despite being unable to complete pilot training due to medical reasons, he was transported to the UK to fly with the Royal Flying Corps.

He manned the rear Lewis Gun of a Bristol Fighter, and after being credited with 15 victories he was recognised with the Military Cross for his efforts in the spring of 1918 in shooting down two enemy triplanes and scattering ground troops.

john-gordon-anzac-gallipoli-thomas-whyte
John Gordon (R) at the pyramids during training in Egypt.

After completing his pilot training, he would go on to fly his own plane later in the year.

Gordon survived the war and returned to Australia on 14 June 1919.

In the Second World War, he joined the RAAF, first as a recruiting officer, then as a commanding officer of a training school.

It was his son Bruce Gordon who identified the men in the photo of No 1 Section in Egypt and wrote the 1995 essay “Flowers of the Forest”.

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