James Heather Gordon, popularly known as Jimmy, was born at Rockingham, a coastal town some 35 km south of Fremantle, Western Australia, on 7 March 1909.

After finishing his schooling, he worked on his parents' property at Gin Gin, near Perth until he enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force on 26 April 1940.

After training, he was sent as a reinforcement to the 2/1 11th Battalion and embarked for Palestine on 22 September 1940.

On 27 February 1941, he was posted to 2/31st Battalion, 25th Brigade of the th Division which commenced the Syrian campaign against the Vichy French on 8 June 1941. His unit had advanced to a position some 10 km north of Jezzin (Djezzine), now in

Lebanon, when the command was notified of a possible armistice.

During the battle of Damour, before hostilities actually ceased, Gordon's company was sent to capture a rise named "Greenhill" which afforded a view of the villages of Amatour and Badarane.

Early in the morning of 10 July 1941, the attack faltered due to intense enemy machine‑gun fire from a position which overlooked the Australian company.

One officer and two men were killed and others wounded.

Private Gordon, on his own initiative, crawled forward through continuous fire and a hand grenade attack and then jumped to his feet and charged the enemy machine‑gun post. He killed four gunners with his bayonet and took the remainder prisoner. The main company then took the post. Just two hours later they were ordered to withdraw from the position they had won so dearly.

Jimmy Gordon then distinguished himself with the same dash and determination during the subsequent withdrawal actions.

For his gallantry, Private James Gordon was awarded the Victoria Cross.

He was promoted to Corporal in September 1941 and returned to Australia with his unit in March 1942.

In January 1943, fie was promoted to Sergeant and served in Papua in the campaign against the Japanese in the Owen Stanley Range and later at the capture of Lae His unit then became involved in actions in the Markham and Ramu Valleys and finally at Balikpapan in Borneo.

After the war, Jim Gordon returned to farming in Western Australia but in December 1947, he again enlisted in the Australian Regular Army where he served with the 30th Cadet Battalion at Karrakatta, Western Australia and later with the 5'th Cadet Brigade Training Depot at Fremantle. He rose to the rank of Warrant Officer, Class 11.

He loved the army and, after his retirement in August 1968, he worked as a groundsman at Campbell Barracks, Swanboume, Western Australia until 1975.

A portrait of him by Bro. Sir William Dargic hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. He died on 19 July 1986.

Bro. James Heather Gordon was initiated into Freemasonry on 2 April 1956 in the United Services Lodge No. 307, on the register of the Grand Lodge of Western Australia. He was passed to the Second Degree on 28 September 1956 and raised a Master Mason on 1 April 1957.


Information supplied from the book " Australian and New Zealand Freemasons and the Victoria Cros" by Grahame Cumminge PDGM UGL of NSW & ACT