Gordon Devereux MM

From Our Contribution

Devereux Gordon.jpg
Photo courtesy Gwynne / Devereux Family
Devereux G and NCOs Feb 1916.jpg
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1890
Place of Birth Beccells, Suffolk, England
Death 23 Jan 1970, aged 80
Place of Death Armadale, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 25 years old
Description 5'8" (1.73 m) tall; 150 lbs (68 kg); dark complexion, brown eyes, dark brown hair.
Occupation painter
Religion Baptist
Address Harvey, Western Australia
Next of Kin Mother Mrs M Devereux
Military Information
Reg Number 2556
Date of Enlistment 27 Aug 1915
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 28th Battalion, 6th reinforcement transferred to 51st Battalion / 13th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 2 Nov 1915 - 26 Nov 1915
Ship Embarked On HMAT A38 Ulysses
Date of Return 27 Mar 1920 - 5 May 1920
Ship Returned On SS Zealandic
Fate Wounded in Action 18 Aug 1918 Somme Region
Returned to Australia
Medals 1914-15 Star
Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Electoral Roll entries - 1915 a painter in Harvey

War Service

Early training in Australia must have gone well as Gordon was an acting Sergeant at the time of transfer of all in the 6th Reinforcement draft for the 28th Battalion in Zeitoun, Egypt to the newly formed 51st Battalion in Tel-el-Kebir. As was usual, he reverted to the rank of Private on becoming a member of the 51st, but not before the photo on his page was taken.

On 5 Jun 1916, the 51st Battalion travelled to Marseilles from Alexandria on the HMT Ivernia, arriving on 12 Jun 1916.

Soon after, on 28 Aug 1916 Gordon was detached for a time to the 27th Army Service Corps, and on 20 Jun 1917, while on leave, he was admitted to Queen Alexandria Military Hospital in Millbank with a hernia before transferring on 19 Jul 1917 to Canewood Towers to recuperate. Next stop was the Auxiliary Hospital in Harefield where he was reclassified.

Gordon spent time in the Overseas Training Brigade at Perham Downs and the 13th Training Battalion, before he was sent to the 4th Division Signals Training School at Codford on 5 Jan 1918. At the completion of his course, he rejoined the 13th Training Battalion, before being sent overseas again via Southampton on 31 Mar 1918.

In France he spent two weeks in a segregation camp at Le Havre, before he rejoined the 51st Battalion on 1 May 1918 at Blangy-Tronville between Amiens and Villers-Bretonneux. Here he was given the role of being a runner between Battalion and Company headquarters.

On 18 Aug 1918 Gordon was WIA (gassed) and seen first by the 15th Australian Field Ambulance before being treated at the 61st Casualty Clearing Station and the 12th General Hospital in Rouen. From there he was invalided to the UK on the 24th Aug 1918 aboard HMHS Grantully Castle and the next day admitted to the Sutton Veny Military Hospital with gas poisoning.

On 25 Mar 1918 he was AWOL for one day. (He had married 24 year old Eleanor Maud Young in Hampstead on the 21st.)

Before returning to Australia he was granted leave from 25 Apr to 31 Oct 1919 to learn the business of a newsagency and stationery retailer in Winchester.

He, Eleanor and their daughter left England on 27 Mar 1920. Discharged by 5th Military District on 6 Jul 1920.

Award Comment

Military Medal

"On night of 12/13th August 1918, during an attack on enemy position East of ETINEHEM near BRAY-SUR-SOMME, these men who are Company runners did excellent work carrying important messages through hostile shell fire and therefore were responsible for maintaining communication between the Coy. and Bn. HQrs." Lt Col R. Christie D.S.O. CO 51st Bn. (The other named in the recommendation was 2032 Pte JA Bond). [1][2]

Post War

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 Railway avenue, Armadale; 1931 - 1968 at 3rd Road and Church Ave (No 18), Armadale. Eleanor (Ellie) was still living at the same address in 1980. Gordon was a member of the RSL Committee for many years; the Armadale-Kelmscott Co-op Committee for 20 years, Armadale Soccer Club President, Chairman of the Unemployed Relief Fund during the Depression, and President of the Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital Committee when the cottage hospital was bought from Sister Whitehead. He also ran the Silent Pictures in 1926/27.

Gordon's son Eric Gordon Devereux (b. 7 Sep 1921) served in the RAN with Service No 22078, enlisted 30 Apr 1938, KIA 20 Nov 1941 with the sinking of HMAS Sydney.

In Aug 1957 Gordon applied for replacement medals including his Military Medal.

Eleanor died 18 Mar 1986 in Mt Lawley, aged 92. Devereux street in Armadale is named after the family.


  1. Second Supplement, No 31338 to the London Gazette 13 May 1919
  2. "Government Gazette Proclamations and Legislation". Commonwealth Of Australia Gazette (109). Australia, Australia. 15 September 1919. p. 1363. Retrieved 31 August 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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