Gordon Vidgen Cross

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Gordon Vidgen Cross
Cross Gordon Betty Harris BLSL PH224.jpg
BLSL PH224 with Niece Betty Harris
Cross Gordon Vidgen.jpg
AWM PO3236.232
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1885
Place of Birth Ballarat East, Victoria
Death 10 Aug 1964
Place of Death Armadale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 30 years, 10 months
Description 5' 7½" (1.71m) tall ; 141 lbs
63.956 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Storeman
Religion Church of England
Address Perth road, Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother , Mrs Evaline Cross
Military Information
Reg Number 5350
Date of Enlistment 17 Jan 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 16th Battalion, 17th Reinforcement, C Company / 4th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 17 Apr 1916 ‒ 14 May 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A60 Aeneas Fremantle to Egypt
Date of Return 3 Mar 1919 ‒ 10 Apr 1919
Ship Returned On HMAT A14 Euripides Portland to Fremantle
Fate Prisoner of War captured at Reincourt 11 Apr 1917
Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
The Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial Ballarat, Victoria
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

The West Australian reported the death of his father George Vidgen Cross senior in New town, Tasmania.[1] Electoral Roll entries - 1910 farmer in Kelmscott, but by 1912 he was described as 'civil servant' living in Kelmscott.

War Service

Gordon entered Blackboy Hill camp on 17 Jan 1916 and after 5 days with the 44th Depot Company, he was allocated to the Service Corp replacements, travelling with them to Egypt aboard HMAT A60 Aeneas, disembarking there on 14 May 1916. A fortnight after arrival in Egypt (1 Apr 1916) he was transferred to the 17th reinforcement draft for the 16th Battalion and undertook further training with the 4th Training Battalion in Egypt. While waiting to join the 16th Battalion he spent time in the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital suffering with Bronchia Pneumonia from 31 May until 17 Jun 1916 before being transferred to a Convalescent Hospital at Ras-el-tin until 12 Jul 1916.

On recovering Gordon was sent to England from Alexandria on 5 Aug 1916 aboard HMT Megantic and on arrival was sent to the 4th Training Battalion at Rollestone camp. On 22 Sep 1916 he embarked for overseas and joined the 16th Battalion on 4 Oct 1916 on the Ypres salient as they are coming out of the line. During the attack on Bullecourt on 11 Apr 1917, as a member of 'C 'Company, Gordon was on the left flank of his battalion, closer to Bullecourt than Reincourt when he was captured along with many others when allied artillery failed to fire to cover the withdrawal of those who had penetrated the enemy trench system but who had subsequently run out of ammunition.

Interned at Limburg, Germany and later transferred to Fredrichsfeld and then Schneidemuhl in Prussia. Gordon was repatriated to the UK via Danzig, arriving at Rippon on 18 Dec 1918.

Discharged by the 5th Military District on 5 Jun 1919.

Cousin of Miss Lucy Ottaway, 110 Tollington Park, N.4, London, through whom all his correspondence as a POW was directed. On 24 Oct 1917 he received the first of many parcels from family and the Red Cross.

In a letter to his cousin Lucy Ottaway he says that the day of his capture .."was awful"....and ..."So far I am keeping well and you can all thank God I am allowed to be alive to write you these few lines."...

"Interned Friedrichfeld. "I was very pleased to receive 24 Oct, two of your Red Cross parcels. I need not say how very pleased I was to get them. They are the first I have had and they are lovely. I wrote about 2 weeks ago, asking for somethings, but was surprised to get them so soon. I have seen letters from you - I note you intend sending some clothes and toilet things, also tobacco, all of which will be most welcome to us all. Most of us are well and if you send to each one of us what your letters say, you cannot do much more. We are all very thankful to you - all hope all in Old England and Australia are well" an extract from a postcard from Gordon. [2].The 16th Battalion, having lost so many men as POWs had begun a tithe on the pay for all their men to fund care parcels.

The West Australian reported that "Mrs. G.V. Cross, Kelmscott has received news from headquarters that her son, Private Gordon V. Cross, has been missing since April 11. He has been fighting since September 1916".[3]

The West Australian reported the arrival in England of a batch of prisoners of war from Germany including ..5350 Cross, Gordon Vidgen, Kelmscott.[4]

On 4 Apr 1919 it reported that Gordon is one of many returning heroes on the Euripides.[5]

Post War

Electoral Roll entries - described as 'civil servant' living in Kelmscott both before and after his military service. By 1936 he was described as a market gardener in Bedfordale; and from 1954 on he was retired, living by himself in William street, Armadale until his death in 1964. [No descendents?]


"The Listening Post" mentions correspondence from himself to the editor.[6]

  1. "Family Notices". The West Australian. XXVIII, (8,119). Western Australia. 10 April 1912. p. 1. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  2. "Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files - Gordon Vidgen Cross". Australian War Memorial. 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  3. "WAR CASUALTIES.". The West Australian. XXXIII, (4,720). Western Australia. 19 May 1917. p. 7. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  4. "REPATRIATED PRISONERS.". The West Australian. XXXV, (5,266). Western Australia. 21 February 1919. p. 8. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. "RETURNING TROOPS.". The West Australian. XXXV, (5,302). Western Australia. 4 April 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 30 May 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. Jan 1922 edition

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