Roll of Honour
Gunner Frank Gordon
Service Number: 170075
Regiment: Royal Garrison Artillery
Conflict: World War One
Date of Death: 30th November 1917
Age at Death: 35
Burial/Memorial Location: Cambrai Memorial, Nord, France
Address: 9 Priory Road, Bicester
Married to Bertha Gordon, of 9 Priory Road, Bicester. On 1911 census as a Law Clerk, born in Wistaston, Cheshire.
"It is with the deepest regret the inhabitants of Bicester heard of the death in France of Gunner Frank Gordon, R.G.A., who was killed in action on November 30th. The shock was more keenly felt by the fact that Mr Gordon was home on leave during the early part of November, and could have only been in France a few days before he met his death.
The news was first conveyed to his widow by the usual official intimation on Monday, and this was followed by a letter from a Corporal in the same battery as deceased, who, thinking he was in communication with Mr Gordon’s father, wrote as follows: "I presume you are the father of Gunner F. Gordon but of this I am not sure. I notice letters are still arriving for him so it would appear there has been some unaccountable delay in informing you of the sad news. I would have written sooner had I known the official intimation was likely to be delayed. You must surely have received the official notice now, but some account of the happenings will no doubt, be acceptable. On the morning of the 30th Nov. Our first intimation of an impending attack was a terrific barrage put down on our battery position by the Germans, during which the dug-out sheltering your son and several others received a direct hit. A rescue party immediately set to work to extricate the poor fellows, but only two were saved and they were, by good fortune, little the worse for their experience. The others, including your son, were killed outright. Very soon after the German Infantry were on the scene and we were compelled to retreat. Our kits and private possessions were lost so we are not in a position to return any personal effects. All letters have been properly endorsed and will doubtless reach you in due course. Following our usual custom in these sad cases I have handed any parcels for your son to the gun crew, of which he was a member. I sincerely regret that the fortunes of war should strike you so swiftly and so hardly. I have had nearly two years of it myself and never received a scratch yet. Once again expressing my sympathy."
On Thursday (yesterday), a letter from deceased’s Major was received, which read: “I regret to inform you that your son was killed in action on 30th November. The official notification from the War Office will have reached you by this time. Your son was with his gun detachment in their dug-out when a shell hit it, killing all but two instantaneously. Regret that it has not been possible to collect his personal belongings. I desire to express the deepest sympathy of officers and men in your bereavement. Your son had not been with this battery very long, but was regarded by us as a hard worker who always did his best at all times. I cannot give you much information but these few lines may help at this time.”
Mr Gordon was held in the highest esteem in Bicester. He was for many years managing Clerk to the late Mr E.F. Tanner, solicitor, whom he succeeded to the office of Clerk to the Bicester Urban District Council a little more than a year ago. He was always thoroughly reliable, and took the keenest interest in everything with which he was entrusted. He was secretary to the Local Court of Foresters for the past few years and was also secretary to the Bicester Bowling Club for a long time past. As a bowler he had no equal in the county, having skipped the Bicester team to victory in the county tournament for two successive years, in addition to winning for three successive years, though heavily handicapped, the challenge cup presented to the Bicester Club by the late Rev. A.R. Prior, and of this he became absolute owner. Deceased was also a member of the Parish Church choir, and was present in his place on the Sunday during his last leave, and only a few days before he met his death.
Thus another name is added to the Roll of Honour of this small town, which has indeed contributed heavily to the list of those who have made the “Great Sacrifice.” Deceased leaves a widow and son, for whom great sympathy is felt." Bicester Advertiser 28/12/1917